If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
BOXES is the name of a computer program. This is what the chess player does when he lumps together large numbers of positions as being'similar' to each other, by neglecting the strategically irrelevant features in which they differ. The resultant small game can be said to be a'model' of the large game. To give a brutally extreme example, consider a specification of chess positions so incomplete as to map from the viewpoint of White the approximately 1050 positions of the large game on to the seven shown in Figure 1. Even this simple classification may have a role in the learning of chess.
Young animals play games in order to prepare themselves for the business of serious living, without getting hurt in the training period. Game-playing on computers serves a similar function. It can teach us something about the structure of thought processes and the theory of struggle and has the advantage over economic modelling that the rules and objectives are clear-cut. If the machine wins tournaments it must be a good player. The complexity and originality of a master chess player is perhaps greater than that of a professional economist.
A computer program has been written which can formulate hypotheses from a given set of scientific data. The data consist of the mass spectrum and the empirical formula of an organic chemical compound. The hypotheses which are produced describe molecular structures which are plausible explanations of the data. The hypotheses are generated systematically within the program's theory of chemical stability and within limiting constraints which are inferred from the data by heuristic rules. The program excludes hypotheses inconsistent with the data and lists its candidate explanatory hypotheses in order of decreasing plausibility.
Attempts to write'intelligent' computer programs have commonly involved the choice for attack of some particular aspect of intelligent behaviour, together with the choice of some relevant task, or range of tasks, which the program must perform. The emphasis is sometimes on the generality of the program's ability, sometimes on the importance of the particular task which it can perform. Well-known examples of such programs are Newell, Shaw, and Simon's General Problem Solver (1959; see also Ernst and Newell, 1967), which is applicable to a wide range of simple problems, Samuel's checker (draughts) playing program (1959, 1967), and the program written by Evans (1964), which solves geometric analogy problems. However, there is another approach to the goal of machine intelligence which stresses the relationship of an organism to its environment and which sets out from the start to understand what is involved in this relationship. Long ago Grey Walter (1953) experimented with mechanical'tortoises' which could range over the floor in a lifelike manner.
Kalah is an extremely ancient game, said to have originated in the Middle East. All that is required to play are 14 holes scooped in sand and the requisite number of pebbles. These pebbles need no distinguishing marks because it is the position of a pebble, or counter, rather than any intrinsic property, which denotes its possible move and ownership. The more modern board and version of the game is given in figure 1. Each player controls a row of round pits on his side and the capsule-shaped bowl at his right called his kalah.
I shall discuss automatic methods of search for solutions in problems susceptible of a particular formal representation, namely that on which the Graph Traverser program (Doran & Michie 1966, and see Doran p. 105) has been based. In Burstall's (see pp. 65-85) problem a solution is defined as a network, the calculated 135 MACHINE LEARNING AND HEURISTIC PROGRAMMING After an initial trial network has been proposed, the program then follows rules invented to allow moves of the following two elementary kinds within the limits set by the security constraints: (1) adding a line joining points i and j for any 10j; (2) deleting a line joining points i and j for any i0j; together with two more obtained as compounds of these; namely (3) two operations of (1) above; (4) two or more operations of (2) above. For any substantial number of points in the network, the number of possible moves which can be generated in these four categories becomes very large, necessitating drastic methods of selection. The way in which this selection is effected is discussed by Burstall (loc. The point I wish to make here is that the basic moves by which neighbouring states are inter-transformable may be unalterably fixed in the structure of the problem as given, or definitions of allowable moves may be imported into the problem in order to give it a structure susceptible to general search methods.
COMPUTER UNIT UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH'For the last few weeks, the "Fifteen-puzzle" has been prominently before the American Public, and may safely be said to have engaged the attention of nine out of ten persons of both sexes and of all ages and conditions of the community.' The Tight-puzzle' is a reduced form of the'Fifteen-puzzle', the subject of the somewhat extravagant claim quoted above. Its use in the study of learning processes, both human and programmed, is described in two other papers in this volume, Michie (p. This paper describes the calculation of optimum solutions to all the 20 160 possible versions of the puzzle. The'Eight-puzzle' consists of eight square pieces, numbered 0-7,f capable of sliding in a shallow square tray of size nine times that of the individual pieces: there is thus one empty square.
How to travel from London to Birmingham may, in some circumstances, be a'problem'. So may be a crossword puzzle, the planning of a school timetable, the solving of an algebraic equation, and the curing of a sick person. I shall not attempt to define a'problem', except to suggest that the A problem-solving program must solve, or help solve, problems. Even when a problem is precisely stated, and when a method of solution known to be infallible is available, it does not follow that this provides a useful method of attack in practice. A solution must be obtained within certain limits of time, and the machine will have a finite'memory'.