Journal of software incremental updating algorithm
Things did not become simple-ish until the eighties and they have gotten progressively simply and cheaper over time.
Similar stories hold for every other sensor modality, and also for output–turning results of computer programs into physical actions in the world.
Later all but Rochester would serve on the faculty at MIT, although by early in the sixties Mc Carthy had left to join Stanford University.
The nineteen page proposal has a title page and an introductory six pages (1 through 5a), followed by individually authored sections on proposed research by the four authors.
In Mc Carthy’s introduction, and in the outlines of what the six named participants intend to research there is no lack of ambition.
The speeds and memory capacities of present computers may be insufficient to simulate many of the higher functions of the human brain, but the major obstacle is not lack of machine capacity, but our inability to write programs taking full advantage of what we have.
He even estimates how many programmers will be needed (sixty is his answer, working for fifty years, so only 3,000 programmer years–a tiny number by the standards of many software systems today).
Mc Carthy was certainly not the first person to talk about machines and “intelligence”, and in fact Alan Turing had written and published about it before this, but without the moniker of “artificial intelligence”.
Again, no lack of ambition, but a bowing to the technological realities of the day.