The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been experimenting with the use of relatively inexpensive microcomputers as artificial intelligence (AI) development environments. Several AI languages are available that perform fairly well on desk-top personal computers, as are low-to-medium cost expert system packages. Although performance of these systems is respectable, their speed and capacity limitations are questionable for serious earth science applications foreseen by the USGS. The most capable artificial intelligence applications currently are concentrated on what is known as the "artificial intelligence computer," and include Xerox D-series, Tektronix 4400 series, Symbolics 3600, VAX, LMI, and Texas Instruments Explorer. The artificial intelligence computer runs expert system shells and Lisp, Prolog, and Smalltalk programming languages. However, these AI environments are expensive. Recently, inexpensive 32-bit hardware has become available for the IBM/AT microcomputer. USGS has acquired and recently completed Beta-testing of the Gold Hill Systems 80386 Hummingboard, which runs Common Lisp on an IBM/AT microcomputer. Hummingboard appears to have the potential to overcome many of the speed/capacity limitations observed with AI-applications on standard personal computers. USGS is a Beta-test site for the Gold Hill Systems GoldWorks expert system. GoldWorks combines some high-end expert system shell capabilities in a medium-cost package. This shell is developed in Common Lisp, runs on the 80386 Hummingboard, and provides some expert system features formerly available only on AI-computers including frame and rule-based reasoning, on-line tutorial, multiple inheritance, and object-programming. ?? 1988 International Association for Mathematical Geology.
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Experiments with microcomputer-based artificial intelligence environments