This 1962 film, produced as part of a series called “Focus on Behavior: The Science of Psychology” for the American Psychological Association and National Educational Television, shows how mainframe computers were used in psychological experiments with human subjects and, during the first or second (depending how you count) false dawn of artificial intelligence, serve as models for human cognition. It is amusing to see the psychologists all calling one another “doctor” as if using computers made them real scientists doing real science.
Near the end of film, the “General Problem Solver” program is discussed. Originally developed in 1959, it was considered a milestone in symbolic, rule-based artificial intelligence. Co-developers Herbert A. Simon and Allen Newell said in 1958, “within ten years a digital computer will be the world’s chess champion” and “within ten years a digital computer will discover and prove an important new mathematical theorem.” In 1965, Simon predicted “machines will be capable, within twenty years, of doing any work a man can do.” Neither saw the approaching “AI Winter”.