BISC Seminar Announcement, December 9th, 4-5pm, 310 Soda

Frank Hoffmann (fhoffman@cs.berkeley.edu)
Sat, 4 Dec 1999 07:15:12 +0100 (MET)

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Berkeley Initiative in Soft Computing (BISC)
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B I S C S e m i n a r A n n o u n c e m e n t
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Reflections on M. Wertheimer`s "Productive Thinking"
And the Developments in Artificial Intelligence

Speaker :
Shelia Guberman
Vadem
E-Mail: gub@vadem.com

Date: Thursday, December 9th, 1999
Time: 4-5pm
Location : 310 Soda Hall

Abstract

Max Wertheimer is an outstanding psychologist and one of the
founders of the Gestalt Psychology. Wertheimer wrote the book "Productive
Thinking" (his last book) in 1943. The aim of this talk is to review the
history of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) from M. Wertheimer's point of
view on the nature of the Intelligence. The time period in which
Wertheimer
wrote "Productive Thinking" coincided with the appearance of two other
important works: Turing's work on the nature of universal calculator
(Turing's machine) and models of neural nets (McCulloch and Pitts, 1943).
Together with the invention of the computer that was the starting point of
the AI.
The golden age, which cybernetics (as a component of AI) promised
in
the area of production management and the conduct of the daily life,
turned
out to be a mirage. Cybernetics itself disappeared, and what is more,
changed its name to escape the responsibility. Now it is called
informatics
and promises nothing. It is our contention that an analysis of the text
"Productive Thinking" can help us greatly with the analysis of this
problem.
The book presents this argument: it pleads the gestalt point of view
against
other two perspectives dominant at that time, namely, traditional logic
and
the theory of associations. The following developments in AI demonstrate
that mainly AI moved in the direction, which is wrong from Wertheimer's
point of view, but his warnings were not heard. A number of successful
application of AI reflects the dominance of the Gestalt approach, the
approach Wertheimer considered appropriate for describing the
intelligence.

"Much has been achieved. In a large number of special questions solid
contributions to understanding have been made. At the same time there is
something tragic in the history of these efforts. Again and again when
great
thinkers compared the ready answers with actual, fine thinking, they were
troubled and deeply dissatisfied - they felt that what had been done had
merits, but that in fact it had perhaps not touched the core of the
problem
at all"
M.Wertheimer
(1943)

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Please direct questions with regard to the contents of the talk
and request for papers to the speaker.
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-- 
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Frank Hoffmann                               UC Berkeley
Computer Science Division                    Department of EECS
Email: fhoffman@cs.berkeley.edu              phone: 1-510-642-8282
URL: http://http.cs.berkeley.edu/~fhoffman   fax:  1-510-642-5775
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