/*-li'z* *-fekt'/ [AI community] n. 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.
This term comes from the famous ELIZA program by Joseph Weizenbaum,
which simulated a Rogerian psychoanalyst by rephrasing many of the
patient's statements as questions and posing them to the patient.
It worked by simple pattern recognition and substitution of key
words into canned phrases. It was so convincing, however, that
there are many anecdotes about people becoming very emotionally
caught up in dealing with ELIZA. All this was due to people's
tendency to attach to words meanings which the computer never put
there. The ELIZA effect is a Good Thing
when writing a
programming language, but it can blind you to serious shortcomings
when analyzing an Artificial Intelligence system. Compare
; see also AI-complete