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The Quest for Artificial Intelligence by Nils J. Nilsson

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15

The Dendral Project

AFTER ED FEIGENBAUM MOVED FROM UC BERKELEY TO STANFORD IN 1965, HE became interested in “creating models of the thinking processes of scientists, especially the processes of empirical induction by which hypotheses and theories were inferred from data.” As he put it, “What I needed was a specific task environment in which to study these issues concretely.”1 Feigenbaum recalls attending a Behavioral Sciences workshop at Stanford and hearing a talk by Joshua Lederberg (1925–2008; Fig. 15.1), a Nobel Prize–winning geneticist and founder of the Stanford Department of Genetics. Lederberg talked about the problem of discerning the structure of a chemical compound from knowledge of its atomic constituents and from its mass spectrogram. ...

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