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Re: [ontolog-forum] IBM Watson's Final Jeopardy error "explanation"

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2011 18:34:36 -0500
Message-id: <4D5F020C.3060905@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Leo and Ed,    (01)

I agree with both of you on the main issues, but I'd just
like to clarify and qualify the following:    (02)

> I agree with Ed. Most of the accomplishments in computer science
> and information technology were not due to AI,    (03)

Yes, but only a small percentage of the comp. sci. researchers
specialized in AI.    (04)

> but of course the former benefited from the accomplishments of AI.
> I do think in particular that John McCarthy made major contributions
> to both AI and to computer science, especially in his development
> of LISP, but also in his use of logic.    (05)

I agree.  And there were also famous mathematicians and computer
scientists like Turing and Shannon who thought about and made
important contributions to AI.    (06)

> However, for example, theorem-proving and logic programming
> originated outside of AI.    (07)

Theorem proving originated with the Greeks and perhaps
earlier with the Sumerians, Egyptians, and Indians.    (08)

But the first attempts to prove theorems on a computer
where by Newell, Shaw, and Simon using IPL even before
they attended the founding meeting of AI in 1956.    (09)

Herb Gelernter was proving some geometry theorems on an
IBM 704 around the same time, and his paper along with
Newell, Shaw, and Simon's paper are in the canonical
_Computers and Thought_ volume of early AI accomplishments.    (010)

Hao Wang's paper, which presented a much faster and
far more successful algorithm than LT appeared in the
IBM Journal of R & D in 1960, and it was not classified
as AI.    (011)

As for logic programming, the inventor of Prolog,
Alain Colmerauer, designed it as a way of expressing
grammars for machine translation.  MT is usually lumped
with NLP in the AI field. The LP idea was developed further
and systematized by Bob Kowalski, who joined the AAAI.    (012)

In any case, I must confess that when I was an undergraduate
at MIT, I majored in mathematics.  Some of my friends were
taking courses in AI, but I considered that stuff "flaky".    (013)

It wasn't until I was a grad student at Harvard that I
cross-registered for Minsky's AI course at MIT.  I wrote
my first paper on conceptual graphs as a term paper
for Minsky's course.    (014)

John    (015)

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