, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 659–668 | Cite as

AI Bridges and Dreams

  • Alan Bundy


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.


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  1. Bundy, A., L. Byrd and C. Mellish (1982), ‘Special purpose, but domain independent inference mechanisms’, Proceedings of ECAI-82, 67-74, European Conference on Artificial Intelligence. Also available from Edinburgh as ‘DAI Research Paper No 179’. Submitted Electro-Technology Journal.Google Scholar
  2. Bundy A. (1983) ‘The nature of AI: a reply to Schank’. The AI Magazine 4(4): 29-31Google Scholar
  3. Bundy, A. (1985), ‘Discovery and reasoning in mathematics’, A. Joshi (ed.), Proceedings of IJCAI-85, 1221-1230, International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence. Also available from Edinburgh as DAI Research Paper No 266.Google Scholar
  4. Mackay, S. (1985), Bridge Across the Century: The Story of the Forth Bridges, Moubray House Press.Google Scholar
  5. Silver, B. (1984), ‘Precondition analysis: learning control information’, MachineLearning 2, Tioga Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  6. Sterling, L., A. Bundy, L. Byrd, R. O’Keefe and B. Silver, (1982), ‘Solving symbolic equations with press’, J. Calmer (ed.), Computer Algebra, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 144, 109-116, Springer Verlag. Longer version available from Edinburgh as Research Paper 171. To appear in Journal of Symbolic Computation.Google Scholar
  7. Uschold, M., N. Harding, R. Muetzelfeldt and A. Bundy (1984), ‘An intelligent front end for ecological modelling’, T. O’Shea (ed.), Proceedings of ECAI-84, 761-770. Available from Edinburgh as Research Paper 223.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan Bundy
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Artificial IntelligenceUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK

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