Oliver Selfridge, an Early Innovator in Artificial
Intelligence, Dies at 82
查一下 在七零年代他們共寫AI 史
March 19, 1927 — July 19, 1992
By Herbert A. Simon
In September 1954 Allen attended a seminar at RAND in which Oliver Selfridge of Lincoln Laboratories described a running computer program that learned to recognize letters and other patterns. While listening to Selfridge characterizing his rather primitive but operative system, Allen experienced what he always referred to as his "conversion experience." It became instantly clear to him "that intelligent adaptive systems could be built that were far more complex than anything yet done." To the knowledge Allen already had about computers (including their symbolic capabilities), about heuristic, about information processing in organizations, about cybernetics, and proposals for chess programs was now added a concrete demonstration of the feasibility of computer simulation of complex processes. Right then he committed himself to understanding human learning and thinking by simulating it. The student of organizations became a student of the mind.
In the months immediately following Selfridge's visit Allen wrote (1955) "The Chess Machine: An Example of Dealing with a Complex Task by Adaptation," which outlined an imaginative design for a computer program to play chess in humanoid fashion, incorporating notions of goals, aspiration levels for terminating search, satisfying with "good enough" moves, multidimensional evaluation functions, the generation of subgoals to implement goals, and something like best first search. Information about the board was to be expressed symbolically in a language resembling the predicate calculus. The design was never implemented, but ideas were later borrowed from it for use in the NSS chess program in 1958.