"Origins of Artificial Intelligence and
Improper Assumptions about Neurons and Such
Speaker: Prof Jerome Y Lettvin, MIT
Wednesday 8 November 95
@Cybersmith in Harvard Square
42 Church Street, Cambridge MA
4 - 5 pm
Information about Cybersmith:
Prof Lettvin offers the perspective of a participant in the early
days of cybernetics and an observer of how artificial intelligence
(AI) grew from it. He will argue that artificial intelligence
was spawned from an improper assumption about the nature of neurons,
an assumption that took years to correct.
Issues that arise include:
- What was the intellectual context in which the notion of
an "artificial intelligence" could arise?
- Whose work provided the basis for AI?
- What are the presumptions of AI?
- If the brain is a machine, what kind of machine might it
The speaker, Jerry Lettvin, is a renowned teacher and innovator
in the research of brain function and vision. Keenly aware of
the history of science and the relationship of philosophy to
making intelligent artifacts, Prof Lettvin brings a passion for
clear and insightful thinking to the world of thinking machines.
He has co-authored papers with Warren McCulloch, Walter Pitts
and Humberto Maturana, and many others. He is Professor Emeritus
at MIT, where he has contributed to the departments of Biology,
EE and Computer Science since 1966.