People sometimes ask me what they should read to find out about
artificial intelligence. Herbert Simon's book The Sciences of the
Artificial is always on the list I give them. Every page issues a
challenge to conventional thinking, and the layman who digests it well will
certainly understand what the field of artificial intelligence hopes to accomplish.
I recommend it in the same spirit that I recommend Freud to people who ask about
psychoanalysis, or Piaget to those who ask about child psychology: if you want to
learn about a subject, start by reading its founding fathers.