[Humanist] 29.809 the state of the science

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Thu Mar 24 08:01:18 CET 2016

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 29, No. 809.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2016 06:36:37 +0000
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: "the state of the science"

In his last note on the subject of AI and Go, Tim Smithers made 
reference to Allen Newell's presidential address to the American 
Association of Artificial Intelligence in 1981 
(http://www.aaai.org/ojs/index.php/aimagazine/article/view/99/98). It is 
the first such address to the AAAI and so unsurprisingly takes a view on 
what such addresses are for -- then proceeds to his subject, knowledge 
and representation. There are bones to be picked with what he says about 
that, but I want to direct your attention to his brief comment on his 
sort of address:

 > Only two foci are really possible for a presidential address: the
 > state of the society or the state of the science. I believe the
 > latter to be the correct focus. AAAI itself, its nature and its
 > relationship to the larger society that surrounds it, are surely
 > important. However, our main business is to help AI become a
 > science--albeit a science with a strong engineering flavor.

Presidential addresses to other academic associations and societies 
show the same tradition of reflecting on "the state of the science". 
Would it not be a good development were our associations to begin 
doing the same, these addresses published in one of our journals? 


Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/), Professor, Department of Digital
Humanities, King's College London, and Digital Humanities Research
Group, Western Sydney University

More information about the Humanist mailing list