Tuesday, 25 October 2011

The Lighthill Debate

This took place in 1973, between Prof. James Lighthill (arguing against AI as a discipline), and Prof. Donald Michie, Prof. John McCarthy and Prof. Richard Gregory (arguing for). It is a very stimulating debate, with views from Prof. Lynton Strachey (a colleage of Michie's at Bletchley Park) and Prof. Roger Needham. They discussed a report which lead to an AI winter in the UK with very little research done, apart from a few Universities. Here is part 1 of 6:

Part 2 of 6

Part 3 of 6

Part 4 of 6

Part 5 of 6

Part 6 of 6

A small anecdote - the only person in this debate who I met personally was Roger Needham - a really great chap, and sadly missed. I remember his description of AI as 'that part of computing which doesn't work', which I found very amusing. I'm sure I saw George Coulouris in the audience as well.

(h/t: Eduardo Alonso)

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