Discovery of the Causes of Scurvy: Could Artificial Intelligence Have Saved a Few Centuries?

Vincent Corruble and Jean-Gabriel Ganascia

Historical observations of cases of scurvy have been collected in the medical literature and given as inputs to the symbolic induction system CHARADE. The rules which were produced by the system simulate well the explanation given to scurvy in the 17th and 18th centuries. However, the results tend to show the importance of the implicit knowledge of the scientists, or their induction bias, to explain the ,problems they had to perceive the real cause of scurvy.

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