Cognitive task analysis (CTA) helps researchers understand how cognitive skills and strategies make it possible for people to act effectively and get things done. CTA can yield information people need—employers faced with personnel issues, market researchers who want to understand the thought processes of consumers, trainers and others who design instructional systems, health care professionals who want to apply lessons learned from errors and accidents, systems analysts developing user specifications, and many other professionals.
Computerized "expert systems" are among the best-known applications of artificial intelligence. But what is expertise? The nature of knowledge and expertise, and their relation to context, is the focus of active discussion and controversy among psychologists, philosophers, computer scientists, and other cognitive scientists. The questions reach to the very foundations of cognitive theory.