Machine Expertise

  • J. L. Alty


Problem solving using machines is not new. The activity has been going on for many centuries. However, it was only in the 19th century that real progress on the design and production of machines that could solve a variety of problems was achieved. Babbage designed his difference engine in the 19th century and put it to practical use for the Admiralty. Later he designed the analytical engine but was never able to acquire enough funding to complete it (Morrison & Morrison, 1961). The analytical engine was an impressive system having many of the components of the modern-day digital computer. However, it was based upon mechanical engineering properties, and the tolerances required in its production could not be achieved at that time. It is important to remember this long history of the mechanization of problem solving. It puts present-day artificial intelligence efforts into perspective. Expert systems are, in a way, a continuation of a tradition going back to Babbage.


Expert System Inference Engine Inference Network Certainty Factor Nonmonotonic Reasoning 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. L. Alty
    • 1
  1. 1.Turing InstituteGeorge HouseGlasgowUK

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