Intelligent Systems: The Weakest Link?

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Abstract

This paper investigates the role intelligent systems may play in the design, operation and maintenance of safety critical applications. It questions whether the techniques currently used to construct intelligent knowledge-based systems can produce designs which can meet the performance requirements of such applications and which, in particular, can be trusted. The paper concludes that conventional rule-based systems are essentially ad-hoc and thus not really suitable, however, more sophisticated techniques as embodied in the abductive, qualitative reasoning and inscriptor approaches are seen to point the way to a solution.