Many researchers in cybernetics remain sceptical about the practical applications of expert systems to industrial problems. Apart from the much publicised medical expert systems, little information is available about the use of these systems in such fields as safety and reliability. It was therefore encouraging to see the report in ESRA (European Safety and Reliability Association) Newsletter Vol. 5, No. 1, 1988, pp. 14, of experience with expert systems to perform safety studies. Work carried out in 1985 by Électricité de France (EDF) showed that an important step forward towards automating reliability systems could be taken by using expert systems.
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