Joseph Weizenbaum

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Weizenbaum, in 2005

Joseph Weizenbaum (8 January 1923 – 5 March 2008) was a German American computer scientist and a professor at MIT. The Weizenbaum Award is named after him. He is considered one of the fathers of modern artificial intelligence.


Computer Power and Human Reason: From Judgment To Calculation (1976)[edit]

  • Our ignorance of brain function is currently so very nearly total that we could not even begin to frame appropriate research strategies. We would stand before the open brain, fancy instruments in hand, roughly as an unschooled labourer might stand before the exposed wiring of a computer: awed perhaps, but surely helpless. A microanalysis of brain functions is, moreover, no more useful for understanding anything about thinking than a corresponding analysis of the pulses flowing through a computer would be for understanding what program the computer is running. Such analyses would simply be at the wrong conceptual level. They might help to decide crucial experiments, but only after such experiments had been designed on the basis of much higher-level (for example, linguistic) theories.

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