George Mountford gave the first Ray Coggan Memorial Lecture. After paying glowing tribute to the late Ray Coggan, who ran this forum single-handedly for eighteen years, and expressing the opinion that, without Ray’s work and dedication, this forum would not now exist, Mountford gave a report on the Royal Institution of London and a short lecture on the subject of Intelligence, artificial (AI) or otherwise.
After recounting the story of “The Turk,” the chess playing android at the court of Empress Maria Theresa in 1769, he went on to point out that in 1997 Garry Kasparof, the then reining World Chess Champion, was beaten by Deep Blue, a New York computer.
After question time, the summing-up question was as follows: Is it possible for a machine (computer) to think?
The decision was inconclusive.