Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

About a year ago I was at a meeting in IEEE-LTSC where a subcommittee was set up to work on a 'learning engineering' specification. I complained at the time that the term would not be enthusiastically received. It originates from Herbert Simon back in the 1960s, as we are told in this article. This is the same Herbert Simon who (as I learned years ago in philosophy class) with Allen Newell created the Logic Theory Machine (1956) and the General Problem Solver (GPS). Back then there were two major strands of AI - rule-based systems, like GPS, and neural network based systems called Perceptrons. Today, as we know, GPS and rule-based systems have been eclipsed by neural network systems, and the GPS was never more than an interesting academic exercise. Still, it appealed to engineers and expecially to those who still think we can create rule-based education systems.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Mar 30, 2021 10:39 p.m.