AI Bridges and Dreams

22 December 2010

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.