The online interactive magazine of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence
Looking Back, Looking Ahead: Symbolic versus Connectionist AI

Looking Back, Looking Ahead: Symbolic versus Connectionist AI

By Ashok Goel; School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology

Like much of the AI community, I have watched the ongoing discussion between symbolic AI and connectionist AI with fascination. While symbolic AI posits the use of knowledge in reasoning and learning as critical to producing intelligent behavior, connectionist AI postulates that learning of associations from data (with little or no prior knowledge) is crucial for understanding behavior. The recent debate between the two AI paradigms has been prompted by advances in connectionist AI since the turn of the century that have significant applications.