February 12, 2021
This week in The History of AI at AIWS.net – Herbert Simon and Allen Newell developed Logic Theorist in December 1955. Logic Theorist is a computer program that is considered to be the first AI program. The program was designed to perform automated reasoning, the first to be so intentionally. It was able to prove the first 38 theorems from the Principia Mathematica by Alfred North Whitehead and Bertrand Russell.
Herbert Simon was an American economist, political scientist, and cognitive scientist. In addition to Logic Theorist, he was known for research into decision-making in organisations and theories of bound rationality and satisficing. He worked at Carnegie Mellon University for the majority of his career. Simon received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1978, and the Turing Award in 1975 for contributions to AI, human cognition, and list processing.
Allen Newell was an American researcher of computer science and cognitive psychology at the RAND Corporation and Carnegie Mellon University. He collaborated with Herbert Simon in developing Logic Theorist and General Problem Solver, some of the earliest examples of Artificial Intelligence. In 1975 He received the ACM Turing Award, the most prestigious award in computer science, jointly with Simon.
The HAI initiative considers the development of Logic Theorist as important in the History of Artificial Intelligence. It was a pioneering research that was pioneering in the study of AI. Logic Theorist would also influence concepts in AI research, such as heuristics and reasoning as search.