Is chess the drosophila of artificial intelligence? A social history of an algorithm

  title={Is chess the drosophila of artificial intelligence? A social history of an algorithm},
  author={Nathan Ensmenger},
  journal={Social Studies of Science},
  pages={30 - 5}
  • Nathan Ensmenger
  • Published 1 February 2012
  • Computer Science, Medicine
  • Social Studies of Science
Since the mid 1960s, researchers in computer science have famously referred to chess as the ‘drosophila’ of artificial intelligence (AI). What they seem to mean by this is that chess, like the common fruit fly, is an accessible, familiar, and relatively simple experimental technology that nonetheless can be used productively to produce valid knowledge about other, more complex systems. But for historians of science and technology, the analogy between chess and drosophila assumes a larger… 
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