Template:Quote McCarthy on AI

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Quote by John McCarthy from What is Artificial Intelligence? [1] [2]:

Alexander Kronrod, a Russian AI researcher, said 'Chess is the Drosophila of AI.' He was making an analogy with geneticists' use of that fruit fly to study inheritance. Playing chess requires certain intellectual mechanisms and not others. Chess programs now play at grandmaster level, but they do it with limited intellectual mechanisms compared to those used by a human chess player, substituting large amounts of computation for understanding. Once we understand these mechanisms better, we can build human-level chess programs that do far less computation than do present programs. Unfortunately, the competitive and commercial aspects of making computers play chess have taken precedence over using chess as a scientific domain. It is as if the geneticists after 1910 had organized fruit fly races and concentrated their efforts on breeding fruit flies that could win these races.
  1. John McCarthy (1989). The Fruitfly on the Fly. ICCA Journal, Vol. 12, No. 4
  2. John McCarthy (1990). Chess as the Drosophila of AI. Computers, Chess, and Cognition, pp. 227-237