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AI, Science, and Intellectual Processes: Preliminary Remarks andArguments

Nutter, J. Terry (1990) AI, Science, and Intellectual Processes: Preliminary Remarks andArguments. Technical Report TR-90-38, Computer Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

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This paper argues that trying to answer questions like the precise relationship of AI to existing disciplines (psychology, philosophy, linguistics, etc.) is both premature and potentially harmful to all concerned. This is not to say that we cannot say anything useful on the underlying questions which plague those who question its status; but the answers that can currently be given will probably fail to satisfy critics and proponents alike. This dissatisfaction--and indeed much of the debate--results from a view of science which takes as its model mature, developed sciences, and ignores facts about necessary phases in their development. This paper also argues that the question whether AI is a science is usually standing surrogate for concerns that have nothing whatever to do with science, and which should be addressed on their own grounds. The fundamental thesis here is that understanding the current status of AI, and so understanding the relationship between the various proposed approaches, requires adopting a more sophisticated approach to the status and development of intellectual disciplines, and that such an approach can contribute substantially to a broad area of current disputes, including most notably the "traditionalist/connectionist" controversy. This paper is divided into four questions: (1) "What is AI?"; (2) "Is AI science?"; (3) "What does all this say about AI, cognitive science and art forms?" The discussion of the fourth question will deal with consequences concerning the relationship between "traditional" and connectionist AI. I outline my positions on these four questions.

Item Type:Departmental Technical Report
Subjects:Computer Science > Historical Collection(Till Dec 2001)
ID Code:220
Deposited By:User autouser
Deposited On:05 December 2001