The summer rendezvous in the Connecticut River Valley town of Hanover, N.H., served as a springboard for discussions on ways that machines could simulate aspects of human cognition: How can computers use language? Can machines improve themselves? Is randomness a factor in the difference between creative thinking and unimaginative competent thinking?
The underlying assumption was that, in principle, learning and other aspects of human intelligence could be described precisely enough that a machine could be programmed to simulate it.
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