This article is concerned with the psychology of human thinking.
It sets forth a theory to explain how some humans try to solve some simple formal problems.
The research from which the theory emerged is intimately related to the field of information processing and the construction of intelligent automata, and the theory is expressed in the form of a computer program.
Newell & Simon 1961
Julia and John are talking about the following article:
GPS, A Program that Simulates Human Thought
In this post the dialogue is realised by an interaction of virtual characters, for more information please check the page “Virtual characters“
Remember that you mentioned Newell, Shaw, and Simon to me?
Yes, did you find out how they would fit in all this?😊
Absolutely! 😊 Their research is a great fit for this topic
They tried to figure out the laws of thought to turn them into an algorithm
OK, so from psychology to programming? 😉
Exactly: humans use algorithms too, we just need to figure out which ones.
and then translate them into somethings a computer can use.
Yes. Basically they thought that thinking is just “problem solving”
and that there are some general rules that we use all the time, whether playing chess or doing math
I think Manuel mentioned this to me at some point: it’s all information processing
That is indeed the kind of approach: humans and computers use algorithms to solve problems, to process information
So the laws of thought that we discover through psychological research can be turned into a program
There’s just one problem …. it doesn’t really work all that well.
How do you mean?
The idea was: humans are intelligent, we make computers do what humans do, and then we have intelligent computers, AI.
However, there’s quite a difference between a computer algorithm and how humans solve problems.
The analogy works really well for chess and math, and is terrible for, like, more mundane problems: grocery shopping, navigating traffic, etc.
So the whole “laws of thought” stuff didn’t work out in the end?
Not really, and the link to logic was lost too: programmers simply went with what works, the most pragmatic option
So rules of thumb and heuristics and not deduction and statistics
Indeed, and then of course the way a computer solves a problem becomes very different from how a human does.
OK, so I guess we should include some of the setbacks and critics of AI as well
I think that would be a good idea, so we can make it clear how things are different now. 😉
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