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Information Processing

1956

Newell & Simon's theory of information processing started from the dual premise that machines could be made to behave intelligently, like humans, and that the process of constructing such machines would shed light on human problem-solving.

In this paper we describe a complex information processing system ... capable of discovering proofs for theorems in symbolic logic. This system, in contrast to the systematic algorithms . . . ordinarily employed in computation, relies heavily on heuristic methods similar to those that have been observed in human problem solving activity. The specification is written in a formal language, of the nature of a pseudo-code . . . for digital computers .... The logic theory machine is part of a program of research to understand complex information processing systems by specifying and synthesizing a substantial variety of such systems for empirical study.

(Newell and Simon, 1956)

Activities

  1. Watch: Herb Simon explain the symbol systems behind the Logic Theory Machine
  2. Read more from Simon's biography of Newell

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