Scientific Discovery: Computational Explorations of the Creative Processes. Pat Langley, Herbert A. Simon, Gary L. Bradshaw and Jan M. Zytkow. The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1987. 346 pp. $25 HB, $9.95 PB.

One of the most commonly heard objections to artificial intelligence (Al) runs: "Well, you may be able to get a computer to play chess or diagnose illnesses, but a computer will never do anything really creative like write a good play or discover the theory of relativity." Scientific discovery seems to involve a mysterious blend of intuition and insight that no precise computer model could capture. How could we begin to formalize the methods by which scientists discover new laws, theories and concepts?

This exciting book shows the fertility of a computational approach to scientific discovery. There is nothing mysterious about creativity for its authors. They view discovery as the result of the same general kinds of information...

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