In the 1950s, a new field, cognitive psychology, emerged as a dialogue between the growing capabilities of digital computers and the study of human cognition and perception. Artificial Intelligence (AI) researchers began to develop models of perception, reasoning, knowledge organization, and natural language communication. They also created neural networks, expert systems, and other software with practical applications. AI models, in turn, have offered provocative insights into the human mind; now, new developments in virtual community and cyberspace point toward a future in which human and computer minds will interact in increasingly complex ways. Ultimately, AI research compels us to ask what it is that makes us human.
Artificial Intelligence presents dynamic new portraits of the men and women in the vanguard of this innovative field. Subjects include Alan Turing, who made the connection between mathematical reasoning and computer operations; Allen Newell and Herbert Simon, who created a program that could reason like a human being; Pattie Maes, who developed computerized agents to help people with research and shopping; and Ray Kurzweil, who, besides inventing the flatbed scanner and a reading machine for the blind, has explored relationships between people and computers that may exceed human intelligence.
Black-and-white photographs and line illustrations. Appendixes. Sidebars. Glossary. General chronology. Chapter-specific chronologies and further readings. Web sites. Further resources. Index.
About the Author(s)
Harry Henderson is an educational and technical writer and editor specializing in subjects related to science, computer technology, mathematics, biography, and history. Henderson's publications for Facts On File include Career Opportunities in Computers and Cyberspace, Privacy in the Information Age, Modern Mathematicians (selected as one of the "1997 Books for the Teen Age" by The New York Public Library), and Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Technology, which was "highly recommended" by Choice.