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The Quest for Artificial Intelligence by Nils J. Nilsson

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18

Consulting Systems

18.1 The SRI Computer-Based Consultant

As my colleagues and I at SRI cast about for ways to continue our planning and vision research we had been doing under the “Shakey the Robot” project, while satisfying DARPA’s interest in militarily relevant applications, we hit upon the problem of equipment maintenance, repair, and training. We pointed out that any technology that could reduce expenditures for these items and lessen the need for utilizing scarce human experts would be extremely important to the military. Furthermore, we said, this need “cannot be satisfied merely by writing more and better manuals. A sophisticated computer system seems to us essential.”

We proposed to begin work on this problem by developing an environment ...

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