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In the course of his investigations, Collins derives enlightening metaphors for the relation between artificial intelligence and prosthetic technologies such as artificial hearts. He provides an intriguing explanation of why pocket calculators work and shares his own experience in constructing an expert system designed to teach people to grow specialized semiconductor crystals. He describes a novel development of the Turing protocol for the definition Of intelligence, a new classification of human skill, and an original way of understanding our relationship to machines.
From an AI point of view, the acquisition of knowledge and the selection of applications are critical to the success of expert systems. Collins offers an original approach to both problems for AI researchers and practitioners, providing a sociological perspective on the kinds of knowledge expert systems can and cannot capture, and on the domains that are and are not likely to be successful.
Harry M. Collins is a widely publishedsociologist. He is Professor of Sociology, Head of the School of Social Sciences, and Director of the Science Studies Centre at the University of Bath.
"H. M. Collins makes his case without the polemical excesses of Hubert Dreyfus or John Searle. Unlike them, he seems to have genuinely attempted an experiment in knowledge engineering." Kamesh Ramakrishna