This paper is a modified version of my acceptance lecture for the 1986 SPL-Insight Award. It turned into something of a personal credo — describing my view of
the nature of AI
the potential social benefit of applied AI
the importance of basic AI research
the role of logic and the methodology of rational construction
the interplay of applied and basic AI research, and
the importance of funding basic AI.
These points are knitted together by an analogy between AI and structural engineering: in particular, between building expert systems and building bridges.
KeywordsArtificial Intelligence Expert System Social Benefit Structural Engineering Building Bridge
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