AI, by def'n

Dave Long
Wed, 30 Jan 2002 10:06:23 -0800

It has been reported* that Webster offers
a definition of 'intelligent' which makes
AI entirely feasible:

> 3 a : guided or controlled by a computer; 



* by Dijkstra, in EWD618:
part of his EWD series, collected at:

He is entirely enough of a curmudgeon to
invite to FoRK, but is unlikely to accept,
at least until we can distribute fountain
penned posts.

> ... I don't need to waste my time with a computer just because I am a
> computer scientist.  [Medical researchers are not required to suffer
> from the diseases they investigate.]

and perhaps not even then:

> I remember how, with the advent of terminals, interactive debugging
> was supposed to solve all our programming problems, and how, with the
> advent of colour screens, "algorithm animation" was supposed to do
> the same. And what did we get? Commercial software with a disclaimer
> that explicitly states that you are a fool if you rely on what you
> just bought.
> And now we have the multimedia/communication hype: the best bits are
> those that just arrived from far away, and if you are not "on line",
> "on the Net", you just don't count, you are not of this world (which
> is virtual anyhow...).

Still, despite his insistence for some
strange reason that computing should be
approached as if it were K-limited, not
r-limited, the following wish makes it
clear that he remains an optimist:

> May, in spite of all distractions generated by technology, all of
> you succeed in turning information into knowledge, knowledge into
> understanding, and understanding into wisdom.