Artificial Intelligence Quotations


Artificial intelligence is the study of how to make real computers act like the ones in the movies.


The question of whether a computer can think is no more interesting than the question of whether a submarine can swim.


Machines will be capable, within twenty years, of doing any work that a man can do.

Herbert Simon, 1965. 

Artificial Intelligence, IT'S HERE. 

Business Week cover,  July 9, 1984.

The main lesson of thirty-five years of AI research is that the hard problems are easy and the easy problems are hard. The mental abilities of a four-year-old that we take for granted – recognizing a face, lifting a pencil, walking across a room, answering a question – in fact solve some of the hardest engineering problems ever conceived.... As the new generation of intelligent devices appears, it will be the stock analysts and petrochemical engineers and parole board members who are in danger of being replaced by machines. The gardeners, receptionists, and cooks are secure in their jobs for decades to come.

Steven Pinker

If we desire to form individuals capable of inventive thought and of helping the society of tomorrow to achieve progress, then it is clear that an education which is an active discovery of reality is superior to one that consists merely in providing the young with ready-made wills to will with and ready-made truths to know with…

Jean Piaget (individuals = children, but interesting for individuals = robots)

A year spent in artificial intelligence is enough to make one believe in God.

Alan Perlis

AI is an engineering discipline built on an unfinished science.

Matt Ginsberg, reported in SIGART bulletin Vol 6, No.2 April 1995

Chess is the Drosophila of artificial intelligence. However, computer chess has developed much as genetics might have if the geneticists had concentrated their efforts starting in 1910 on breeding racing Drosophila. We would have some science, but mainly we would have very fast fruit flies.

John McCarthy

The wheel needs reinventing, but not just yet.

Nir Oren

You've got to stop looking at the big picture.

Gunnar Grimnes

Pattern recognition and association make up the core of our thought. These activities involve millions of operations carried out in parallel, outside the field of our consciousness. If AI appeared to hit a brick wall after a few quick victories, it did so owing to its inability to emulate these processes.

Daniel Crevier

Our ultimate objective is to make programs that learn from their experience as effectively as humans do. We shall…say that a program has common sense if it automatically deduces for itself a sufficient wide class of immediate consequences of anything it is told and what it already knows.

John McCarthy, "Programs with Common Sense", 1958.

Artificial intelligence has done well in tightly constrained domains. Winograd, for example, astonished everyone with the expertise of his blocks-world natural language. Extending this kind of ability to larger worlds has not proved straightforward, however…The time has come to treat the problems involved as central issues.

Patrick H. Winston 1976.

An individual understands a concept, skill, theory, or domain of knowledge to the extent that he or she can apply it appropriately in a new situation.

Howard Gardner.


Unless there are slaves to do the ugly, horrible, uninteresting work, culture and contemplation become almost impossible. Human slavery is wrong, insecure, and demoralizing. On mechanical slavery, on the slavery of the machine, the future of the world depends.

Oscar Wilde in "The Soul of Man Under Socialism"


Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.



Intelligence Quotations

Intelligence is what you use when you don't know what to do.

Jean Piaget


In the scale of life there is a gradual decline in physical variability, as the organism has gathered into itself resources for meeting the exigencies of changing external conditions; and that while in the mindless and motionless plant these resources are at a minimum, their maximum is reached in the mind of man, which, at length, rises to a level with the total order and powers of nature, and in its scientific comprehension of nature is a summary, an epitome of the world.

Chauncey Wright, Limits of Natural Selection

General Quotations


Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

Howard Aiken