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    Cambridge Cybernetic Society
    2nd Meeting

    "Origins of Artificial Intelligence and Cybernetics"
    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: 617-492-5857

    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 be?

    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.

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