The origin of Scruffies

The one thing I could not find when I previously wrote about scruffies and cleanies, was any reference to these terms on the internet. Thanks to David Karger I now know this is because the original distinction was made between Scruffies vs Neats. Wikipedia tells the story of these divergent schools of thought in the Artificial Intelligence research community. In fact many people note that the semantic web is "just the latest" approach to the AI problems that have stumped researchers for decades. I am sure Zak Kohane was well aware of all this when he presented, and of the rich irony of extending the term into the semantic web world.

The Wikipedia article notes some famed AI scruffies and neats (as they are known in that field). I recognise just a couple of the names, and note that Rodney Brooks at MIT is a scruffy... and his work has given America its most popular robot: the Roomba vacuum cleaner.

One point for the scruffies I would say!

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