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There's more to AI than meets the eye

By Tom Standage   May 2002

Some technologies, such as fusion power, are hyped but never manage to get off the ground. Others, such as text messaging, are not hyped at all, but take off on their own. The technology of “artificial intelligence,” a term coined by a group of computer scientists in 1956, would seem to belong in the former category rather than the latter. After decades of over-optimism and numerous broken promises, AI research appears to have achieved very little. Intelligent computers-of the kind epitomised by Hal, the fictional supercomputer in 2001: A Space Odyssey -are nowhere to be seen. Yet much of the…

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