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The Quest for Artificial Intelligence by Nils J. Nilsson

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21

Boomtimes

EVEN THOUGH THE MANSFIELD AMENDMENT AND THE LIGHTHILL REPORT CAUSED difficulties for basic AI research during the 1970s, the promise of important applications sustained overall funding levels from both government and industry. Excitement, especially about expert systems, reached a peak during the mid-1980s.

I think of the decade of roughly 1975–1985 as “boomtimes” for AI. Even though the boom was followed by a period of retrenchment, its accomplishments were many and important. It saw the founding in 1980 of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI – now called the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence), with annual conferences, workshops, and symposia. (Figure 21.1 shows a scene from one of ...

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