computational linguist (1950- )

AI is not the science of building artificial people. It's not the science of understanding human intelligence. It's not even the science of trying to build artifacts that can imitate human behavior well enough to fool someone that the machine is human, as proposed in the famous Turing test ... AI is the science of making machines do tasks that humans can do or try to do ... you could argue ... that much of computer science and engineering is included in this definition.

JAMES F. ALLEN, AI Magazine, winter 1998


Tags: artificial intelligence

Knowledge of the world is necessarily incomplete and unpredictable, thus prediction can only be done on the basis of certain assumptions. Virtually no plan is foolproof.

JAMES F. ALLEN & GEORGE FERGUSON, "Action Events in Interval Temporal Logic"


If an agent had full knowledge about a world, then predicting the future would be a relatively well-defined task. The agent would simply simulate the future course of events starting from the present state. In practice, however, the agent never has such detailed knowledge about the world -- the agent's knowledge of the present state is partial, and the world is not well-understood enough to make precise predictions.

JAMES F. ALLEN, "Planning as Temporal Reasoning"


Tags: future

Actions and events take time. While some events may be instantaneous, most occur over an interval of time. During this time, they may have a rich structure. For instance, the event of driving my car to work involves a wide range of different actions, states of the world and other complications, yet the activity over that stretch of time can be nicely described as a single event. Because events are extended in time, different events and actions may overlap in time and interact. Thus, if while I am driving to work, a rock pierces the gas tank and the gasoline drains out, I may end up being stranded on the highway rather than arriving at work on time.

JAMES F. ALLEN & GEORGE FERGUSON, "Action Events in Interval Temporal Logic"


Tags: time