He is known within the philosophy of mind and artificial intelligence fields for his work on natural language using the SHRDLU program. SHRDLU was written in the years from 1968-70. In making the program Winograd was concerned with the problem of providing a computer with enough "understanding" to be able to use natural language. Winograd restricted the program's intellectual world to a simulated "world of toy blocks". The program could accept commands such as, "Move the blue block," and carry out the requested action using a simulated block-moving arm. The program could also respond verbally, for example, "I do not know which blue block you mean." The SHRDLU program can be viewed historically as one of the classic examples of how difficult it is for a programmer to build up a computer's semantic memory by hand and how limited or "brittle" such programs are.
Books by Terry Winograd