The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2002. – 455 pp. Between 1983 and 1993, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) spent an extra $1 billion on computer research to achieve machine intelligence. The Strategic Computing Initiative (SCI) was conceived at the outset as an integrated plan to promote computer chip design and manufacturing, computer architecture, and artificial intelligence software. These technologies seemed ripe in the early 1980s. If only DARPA could connect them, it might achieve what Pamela McCorduck called machines who think. What distinguishes Strategic Computing (SC) from other stories of modern, large-scale technological development is that the program selfconsciously set about advancing an entire research front. Instead of focusing on one problem after another, or of funding a whole field in hopes that all would prosper, SC treated intelligent machines as a single problem composed of interrelated subsystems. The strategy was to develop each of the subsystems cooperatively and map out the mechanisms by which they would connect. While most research programs entail tactics or strategy, SC boasted grand strategy, a master plan for an entire campaign.Contents. Preface. Chronology: Key DARPA Personnel during the Strategic Computing Program. Introduction. Robert Kahn: Visionary. Robert Cooper: Salesman. Lynn Conway: Executor. Invisible Infrastructure: MOSIS. Over the Wall: The SC Architectures Program. Artificial Intelligence: The Search for the Generic Expert System. Putting SC to Work: The Autonomous Land Vehicle. ISTO: The Middle Years of Strategic Computing, 1985–1989. The Disappearance of Strategic Computing. Conclusion. Index.
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