<jargon> /e-li:'z* *-fekt'/ (From ELIZA) 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, but it can blind you to serious shortcomings when analysing an Artificial Intelligence system.

Compare: ad-hockery; See also: AI-complete.

(01 Mar 1997)

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