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The field of artificial intelligence, abbreviated as AI, has been quite turbulent and polymorphic since its creation.

If not, what other word or construct could I use?

By polymorphic I meant that it had changed its subject and scope over time.

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I wouldn't. I'd suggest: The study of artificial intelligence (AI) has been marked by controversial debate and widely differing theories from the start. –  Edwin Ashworth Dec 14 '13 at 15:16
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Could you use another word, like multi-faceted, instead? –  Peter Shor Dec 14 '13 at 15:21
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You might consider a verb instead of an adjective: The field of artificial intelligence, abbreviated as AI, has evolved since its creation. –  J.R. Dec 14 '13 at 18:33
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3 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

I'd be very wary of doing that, as polymorphism already has quite an established definition in the field of computer science. From Google,

Polymorphism (Computing)

A feature of a programming language that allows routines to use variables of different types at different times.

Trying to apply a different defintion with a subfield is likely to cause readers confusion as to your intended meaning.


Edit: As an alternative, you could use 'in flux' or 'ever-changing':

  • The field of artificial intelligence has been in a state of flux since its creation.
  • The field of artificial intelligence has been ever-changing since its creation (as noted on Wiktionary, this may imply continued future change is likely)
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Thanks, but do you have some alternatives (see my edit)? –  akled Dec 14 '13 at 15:24
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I personally prefer diversified, in a sense of becoming diverse and varied, e.g.

The field of artificial intelligence, abbreviated as AI, has been quite turbulent and diversified since its creation.

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That kind of changes the meaning of what I said, please see my edit. But it might be even more suitable, so thanks for the suggestion. –  akled Dec 14 '13 at 15:29
    
I'm not sure if this will be precisely what you want, but I think "the field has been quite turbulent and kept reinventing itself since its creation" sounds pretty close. –  Damkerng T. Dec 14 '13 at 15:47
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@ Damkerng T.: It's beginning to sound as if fields possess artificial intelligence. –  Edwin Ashworth Dec 14 '13 at 16:05
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No, I wouldn't use polymorphic. It literally means "many forms," which doesn't convey much meaning here. Why not start with exactly what you mean: "The field of artificial intelligence (AI) has changed its subject and scope repeatedly since its creation"? That's a sentence you can build something interesting on.

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