IEEE Intelligent Systems, May/June 2009, pp. 5–9

Tracking motion with infrared light and a pendulum 

Discovery Systems Check Their Own Facts

by James Figueroa

Scientists have long sought an AI system that completely automates the discovery process: a system that forms its own hypotheses based on raw data, runs tests, and makes adjustments based on results, much like human scientists in a laboratory.

Early AI projects such as Automated Mathematician (AM) could fulfill only part of that idea, making calculations from large data sets but stopping short at the evaluation step. Decades after AM set the stage for discovery systems with its mathematical concepts in the 1970s, two recent university projects have shown greater promise for completely automated science.

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