Proposal to ARPA for Continued Research on A.I.
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The Artificial Intelligence Laboratory proposes to continue its work on a group of closely interconnected projects, all bearing on questions about how to make computers able to use more sophisticated kinds of knowledge to solve difficult problems. This proposal explains what we expect to come of this work, and why it seems to us the most profitable direction for research at this time. The core of this proposal is about well-defined specific tasks such as extending the computer's ability to understand information presented as visual scenes--or in natural, human language. Although these specific goals are important enough in themselves, we see their pursuit also as tightly bound to the development of a general theory of the computations needed to produce intelligent processes. Obviously, a certain amount of theory is needed to achieve progress in this and we maintain that the steps toward a deep theory in this domain must include thorough analysis of a very specific phenomena. Our confidence in this strategy is based both on past successes and on our current theory of knowledge structure. These bases are discussed both below and in the appendices.