Introductory AI for Whom? Presenting AI to the Non-Scientist

Rebecca E. Skinner

Artificial intelligence, as a set of tools for describing, analyzing and creating artifacts, has much to offer the humanities and social sciences. These ideas may be applied to far more informal human artifacts such as culture, as a means to better understand the non-engineered complex artifacts which surround us. This paper describes "AI for Everyone," a course for advanced undergraduates which is intended to introduce various ideas in knowledge representation and AI to the non-scientist. The author is currently proposing that this course be offered at Stanford University during 1994-1995. The course introduces the concepts of (a) design of complex artifacts and (b) internal representation derived from cognitive science, as seen in the progress of AI research. The class focuses on symbolic representation techniques, with two sessions on reiterations of other kinds of intelligence (Nouvelle AI, Connectionism). Also included are sessions on critiques of symbolic representation and on potential means to apply KR concepts to fields outside computing. No technical background in computing or cognitive sciences is assumed.

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