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2 definitions found
 for neats vs. scruffies
From The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003) :

  neats vs. scruffies
   n.
  
      The label used to refer to one of the continuing holy wars in AI
      research. This conflict tangles together two separate issues. One is the
      relationship between human reasoning and AI; ?neats? tend to try to build
      systems that ?reason? in some way identifiably similar to the way humans
      report themselves as doing, while ?scruffies? profess not to care whether
      an algorithm resembles human reasoning in the least as long as it works.
      More importantly, neats tend to believe that logic is king, while scruffies
      favor looser, more ad-hoc methods driven by empirical knowledge. To a neat,
      scruffy methods appear promiscuous, successful only by accident, and not
      productive of insights about how intelligence actually works; to a scruffy,
      neat methods appear to be hung up on formalism and irrelevant to the
      hard-to-capture ?common sense? of living intelligences.
  

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (30 December 2018) :

  neats vs. scruffies
  scruffies
  
      The label used to refer to
     one of the continuing holy wars in artificial intelligence
     research.  This conflict tangles together two separate issues.
     One is the relationship between human reasoning and AI;
     "neats" tend to try to build systems that "reason" in some way
     identifiably similar to the way humans report themselves as
     doing, while "scruffies" profess not to care whether an
     algorithm resembles human reasoning in the least as long as
     it works.  More importantly, neats tend to believe that
     logic is king, while scruffies favour looser, more ad-hoc
     methods driven by empirical knowledge.  To a neat, scruffy
     methods appear promiscuous, successful only by accident and
     not productive of insights about how intelligence actually
     works; to a scruffy, neat methods appear to be hung up on
     formalism and irrelevant to the hard-to-capture "common sense"
     of living intelligences.
  
     (1994-11-29)
  

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