Computerized Gods – The Age of Information
One of the most distinguished computer scientists in the world today, Prof. J. Weizenbaum is known for his major contributions to the field of Artificial Intelligence. He authored the famous ELIZA program (fore-runner of DOCTOR and other similar programs) which startlingly demonstrated the possibilities for building ‘intelligent effects’ into a computer through programming. Weizenbaum is also the author of Computer Power and Human Reasoning from Calculation to Judgement in which he critically examines the far-reaching social implications of research and philosophical assumptions regarding artificial intelligence.
Prof. Weizenbaum obtained his Ph.D. degree from the Wayne State University in Detroit. After a few years in the industry, he entered the Massachussets Institute of Technology where he has held faculty positions since 1955. He is currently a professor in the department of Computer Sciences at MIT. His current research includes Artificial Intelligence and social implications of computing and cybernetics.
J. WEIZENBAUM, Ph.D. – As many have observed, modern science has become a religion, at least for Western man. Like other religions, it has a priesthood, roughly organized on hierarchical lines. It has temples, shrines, and rituals and it has a body of canons. And, like other religions, it has its own mythology. One myth in particular states that if, say, by experiment a scientific theory is confronted in reality with a single contradiction, one piece of discontinuing evidence, then that theory is automatically set aside and a new theory that takes the contradiction into account is adopted. This is not the way science actually works.