Subject: Re: standardization (Re: Lisp versus C++ for AI. software)
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1996/10/19
Message-ID: <>

* Felix Kasza <>
| I therefore expect the name "Artificial Intelligence" to refer to either
| any kind of mechanism that displays "intelligent behaviour" in the first
| sense, or that makes up pseudo-facts and disguises them to look like
| information (second sense).

this reminds me of the etymology of two words in ordinary English that
differ quite remarkably from their perceived meaning.  "muscle" comes from
the Latin "musculus", dimunitive of "mus", our "mouse".  this is allegedly
because muscles show movement much like small mice, contracting and
stretching as they do when they move.  would you raise an eyebrow should
someone complain loudly that muscles are emphatically _not_ small mice?  a
"compilation" (a collection of writings) comes from the Latin "compilare",
which means "to plunder".  because some authors plundered the writings of
others and put them together as their own 400-odd years ago, today's
"compile" means "to collect".  I would find it surprising if somebody who
has duplicated software in violation of license agreements (I think a
"pirate" is an evil man who kills and robs at sea, and I refuse to use it
about computer users, regardless of their crimes, alleged or real), would
defend himself by arguing that the programs were "plundered" to begin with.

the real question, of course, is which dictionary you use.  used wrongly, a
dictionary of etymology will make a man a source of much ridicule.  used
wrongly by a patient, a medical dictionary will do nothing but frustrate
the medical doctors who has to deal with that patient.  your looking up
"intelligence" alone in a dictionary shares many of these qualities.

I could tell you, but then I would have to reboot you.