The ELIZA effect
refers to the tendency of humans to attach associations to terms from prior experience.
For example, there is nothing magic about the symbol
"+" that makes it well-suited to indicate addition;
it's just that people associate it with addition.
Using "+" or "plus
" to mean addition
in a computer language is taking advantage of
the ELIZA effect.
The ELIZA effect is a good thing when writing a programming language.
For example, the operator overloading in many object-oriented programming languages such as C++ allows new data types to use the same semantics as built-in numeric types.
However, the ELIZA effect can blind one to serious shortcomings when
analysing an Artificial intelligence system.
See also: AI-complete, Turing test
This article (or an earlier version of it) contains material from FOLDOC's article on the ELIZA effect (http://foldoc.doc.ic.ac.uk/foldoc/foldoc.cgi?query=ELIZA+effect), used with permission.
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