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Back to the Future
Many expert systems built in the 1980s
and early 1990s were ahead of their time:
Page metaphor: Deployed before the
World Wide Web was invented, these early expert systems used a
"page-based" user-interface similar to today's "web page" browser
user-interface: When the user pressed Enter, the rule engine would
intelligently and dynamically generate the next page to be
displayed. Users could go "back" to the previous page and change
their answers, or they could go forward to the "next" page.
Hypertext: Users could click on a
highlighted keyword and "jump" to a related page.
Script languages: Dynamic pages and
reports were built using scripting languages similar to HTML and
Object-Oriented: Many of these early
expert systems were built using some of the earliest object-oriented
Mouse: Expert systems were one of the
first applications designed to use a mouse pointing device.
A Solution Looking for a Problem
In the 1980s and early 1990s, analysts
said that expert systems were a solution looking for a problem. Today,
in the 2000s, the problem is clear: Information overload. Expert systems
are the inevitable solution to that problem.
DuPont claims over $1 billion in savings from
their expert systems, and adds that for every $10,000 invested
in expert systems, they obtained over $1 million in benefits. (Source:
Exsys, Inc. website)