Method and Tactics in Cognitive Science

By Walter Kintsch; James R. Miller et al. | Go to book overview

1
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Ever since its beginnings, research in artificial intelligence has been intertwined with that of psychology. This interaction was one of the prominent forces in the establishment of cognitive science, but it has not always been a peaceful one. This has largely been due to some confusion about precisely what AI is, and whether it is possible to do AI without also doing psychology.

Some highly constrained domains exist in which seemingly "intelligent" behavior can be obtained through computer algorithms that bear no resemblance to human cognitive processes. Today's most successful chess programs achieve their success not so much by simulating the knowledge-based strategies of chess masters, but by utilizing specialized algorithms that evaluate as many moves as possible in as little time as possible; the more moves a program can consider, the more likely it is to win. However, these algorithms are less effective in domains such as prose comprehension and problem solving, where knowledge about the domain is the component that is critical to successful performance. These domains can be so unconstrained and dependent upon the manipulation of domain knowledge that the author of a successful AI program may have no alternative but to model his program after the cognitive structures and processes of a skilled human working in the same domain.

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