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The Quest for Artificial Intelligence by Nils J. Nilsson

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22

The Japanese Create a Stir

22.1 The Fifth-Generation Computer Systems Project

In 1982, Japan’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) launched a joint government and industry project to develop what they called “Fifth Generation Computer Systems” (FGCS). Its goal was to produce computers that could perform AI-style inferences from large data and knowledge bases and communicate with humans using natural language. As one of the reports about the project put it, “These systems are expected to have advanced capabilities of judgement based on inference and knowledge-base functions, and capabilities of flexible interaction through an intelligent interface function.”1

The phrase “Fifth Generation” was meant to emphasize dramatic progress ...

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