How to Make a Computer Appear Intelligent
There exists a continuum of opinions on what constitutes intelligence, hence on what constitutes artificial intelligence. Perhaps most workers in the fields of heuristic programming, artificial intelligence, et aI, now agree that the pursuit of a definition in this area is, at least for the time being, a sterile activity. No operationally significant contributions can be expected from the abstract contemplation of this particular semantic navel. Minsky has suggested in a number of talks that an activity which produces results in a way which does not appear understandable to a particular observer will appear to that observer to be somehow intelligent, or at least intelligently motivated. When that observer finally begins to understand what has been going on, he often has a feeling of having been fooled a little. He then pronounces the heretofore "intelligent" behavior he has been observing as being "merely mechanical" or "algorithmic."
From an article published in February, 1962.
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