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Self-Study Questions

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129656D
Original Publication Date: 1990-Mar-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-06
Document File: 5 page(s) / 29K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

JEAN E. SAMMET: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

This department attempts to help people think about the history of computing in new ways, through the mechanism of questions, with answers on a separate page -- thus permitting the reader to do self- testing. The answers list source material for further self-study on topics relating to the questions. Occasionally some questions will be used that have either no answers or controversial answers. Readers are urged to send suggested questions (and answers with cited material) to the department editor. 1. Since the first use of the term ";artificial intelligence,"; there has been considerable debate about what it meant and what computer programs/systems could legitimately be considered examples of ";artificial intelligence."; In this Editor's opinion, the one sure answer to that question is the development of a program that solves problems that appear on an ";intelligence test."; What program, and by whom, actually solved problems from an intelligence test? 2. The Department of Defense system originally known as WWMCCS has had a long and sometimes difficult history, and should be of interest to people concerned with large information systems. The following questions deal with this system.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1990 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

Self-Study Questions

JEAN E. SAMMET, EDITOR

This department attempts to help people think about the history of computing in new ways, through the mechanism of questions, with answers on a separate page -- thus permitting the reader to do self- testing. The answers list source material for further self-study on topics relating to the questions. Occasionally some questions will be used that have either no answers or controversial answers. Readers are urged to send suggested questions (and answers with cited material) to the department editor.

1. Since the first use of the term "artificial intelligence," there has been considerable debate about what it meant and what computer programs/systems could legitimately be considered examples of "artificial intelligence." In this Editor's opinion, the one sure answer to that question is the development of a program that solves problems that appear on an "intelligence test." What program, and by whom, actually solved problems from an intelligence test?

2. The Department of Defense system originally known as WWMCCS has had a long and sometimes difficult history, and should be of interest to people concerned with large information systems. The following questions deal with this system.

a) What does the acronym WWMCCS stand for, and what was its purpose? b) In the late 1960s, what did WWMCCS consist of, in terms of hardware and software? c) Who won the contract to update this in the early 1970s, and what computers were used? d) At the end of the 1970s what was the new acronym and name?

More recently, e) In the middle 1980s what military unit was responsible for this activity, and who became the prime contractor? f) In the middle 1980s what computers were used? g) To what government agency was responsibility transferred, and when? h) How much money was involved in these various procurements?

3. It is well known that obtaining patents on U.S. inventions can sometimes be long and difficult. What well known invention in the computer field was finally granted a patent by Japan after 30 years? When was the patent originally applied for in Japan?

4. Before the availability of any digital computers, there was great use of analog computers for various purposes, including simulation. After the development and practical use of digital computers, there were situations in which a combination of analog and digital computers was useful, and this was referred to as "hybrid computation." What and where was the earliest use of hybrid computing? What was the application? Why was hybrid computing needed and/or useful? What computers (analog and digital) were used in this early work? What examples of truly combined computers (i.e. digital and analog) were developed, and by whom?

5. Although it is frequently overlooked in the United States, there h...