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Logic, Artificial Intelligence and Human Thinking

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Symbolic logic has been used in artificial intelligence over the past 60 years or so, in the attempt to program computers to display human levels of intelligence. As a result, new forms of computational logic have been developed, which are both more powerful and more practical. The new computational logic is the logic of an intelligent agent whose mission in life is to make its goals true, by performing actions to change the world, in the context of changes in the world that are outside its control. For this purpose, the agent uses its beliefs in logical form both to reason forwards, to derive consequences of its observations and candidate actions, and to reason backwards, to reduce goals to subgoals, including actions.

I will argue that computational logic can be used not only for artificial intelligence, but for more conventional computing; and because it improves upon traditional logic, it can also be used for the original purpose of logic, to help people improve their own natural intelligence.

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