Science: Machines with Experience

Giant electronic computers can solve difficult mathematical or logical equations in fractions of a second, but in other ways they are mental defectives. They have no imagination or initiative. They do not learn by experience. They cannot listen to human speech or get information out of reference books. Last week psychologists, neurophysiologists and linguists gathered with mathematicians and physicists at Britain's National Physical Laboratory for an international conference on "The Mechanization of Thought Processes." Its purpose: to explore ways to lift computers above the rank of half-witted prodigies.

Machine Creation. Many of the speakers tackled the question: "What is intelligence?" None of...

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