Tech moves fast! Stay ahead of the curve with Techopedia!
Join nearly 200,000 subscribers who receive actionable tech insights from Techopedia.
“Neats vs. scruffies” is a sort of characterization used in IT to describe two different approaches to specific disciplines, such as artificial intelligence. The “neats” prefer to advance in a way that is completely documentable and provable, in a method that is clear and logically supported. “Scruffies,” on the other hand, may embrace “fuzzier,” more diverse, or more ambiguous methods that support results. Neats vs. scruffies has also been described as “logical versus analogical” and “symbolic versus connectionist.”
In general, “neats” use formal methods supported by statistics and built on transparent logic. By contrast, “scruffies” are more likely to embrace things like ad hoc rule making or dynamic algorithms that can be trained to produce the right results. “Neats vs. scruffies” has also been delineated according to different groups of programmers at MIT and other thought centers over the years, as they try to make advances in artificial intelligence. Experts point out that due to the deep philosophical differences between neats and scruffies, neats may view scruffies’ methods as happenstance or insufficiently built, where scruffies might see neats’ methods as being restrictive and limiting to the exploration of the goals in question.