At the HyperAdvance Blog, Bruce LaDuke writes about the Neats vs. Scruffies debate in AI circles:
In artificial intelligence research, there is an ongoing debate known as Neats vs. Scruffies. ... I see AI itself as a misnomer, and understanding why is the key to this Neats vs. Scruffies debate.
Neats and Scruffies are opposing world views of AI. But I was more interested in LaDuke's discussion of intelligence. His definition of "intelligence" is "knowledge that is stored and retrievable," so in that sense artificial intelligence has already been done. He says that the missing concept of AI is the idea of knowledge creation.
However, I've always considered "intelligence" to be the ability to think and reason about the world around us, which would likely lead to the ability to create new knowledge - extrapolating from previous experiences and knowledge into new situations and arenas.
While I disagree with LaDuke's definition, I do agree with his discussion of the central problem of AI: the ability to make machines appear to be creative, either by making them think like humans (neats), or by making them produce results suggestive of human thought (scruffies).