February 12, 2021
This week in The History of AI at AIWS.net – Rodney Brooks published “Elephants Don’t Play Chess” in 1990. The paper proposed a “group-up approach” to developing AI, in contrast with Classical AI. Brooks dubbed this approach “Nouvell AI”. The paper can be read and downloaded here.
In the abstract, Brooks wrote – “We explore a research methodology which emphasizes ongoing physical interaction with the environment as the primary source of constraint on the design of intelligent systems. We show how this methodology has recently had significant successes on a par with the most successful classical efforts.”
Rodney Brooks is an Australian roboticist. He was a Panasonic Professor of Robotics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as the former director of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Brooks also advocated for an actionist approach in terms of robotics. He also linked robotics to Artificial Intelligence.
The History of AI initiative sees this paper as important because it shows an alternate vision for AI and its development. Although it diverges from other methods of AI, it was still pioneering AI in a different way. Thus, HAI considers the paper as a relevant marker in the History of AI.