The MIT style in Artificial Intelligence 1958 – 1985
In a previous article I illustrated the tension in Artificial Intelligence (AI) between two mentalities, generally referred to as “scruffy” and “neat”. I started by accepting the characterization by Norvig and Russell .
“… the neats — those who think that AI theories should be grounded in mathematical rigor — versus the scruffies — those who would rather try out lots of ideas, write some programs, and then assess what seems to be working.”
Critics of my article have opened up so many dimensions of scruffy versus neat that it is hard to know where to start. From my disorganized thoughts one recurrent theme emerged: the distinctive MIT style during the formative years of AI.