Excerpt from an overview of the latest Turing Award winner’s work
In the 1970s and 1980s, the dominant approach to artificial intelligence was to try to capture the process of human judgment in rules a computer could use. They were called rules-based expert systems.
Dr. Pearl championed a different approach of letting computers calculate probable outcomes and answers. It helped shift the pursuit of artificial intelligence onto more favorable terrain for computing.
“It allowed us to learn from the data rather than write down rules of logic,” said Peter Norvig, an artificial intelligence expert and research director at Google. “It really opened things up.”