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Dated: Aug. 13, 2004
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Artificial Intelligence is a branch of Science which deals with helping machines find solutions to complex problems in a more human-like fashion. This generally involves borrowing characteristics from human intelligence, and applying them as algorithms in a computer friendly way.
Artificial intelligence is the computer modeling of intelligent behavior, including but not limited to modeling the human mind. We see it as an interdisciplinary field where computer science intersects with philosophy, psychology, linguistics, engineering, and other fields.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the area of computer science focusing on creating machines that can engage on behaviors that humans consider intelligent. The ability to create intelligent machines has intrigued humans since ancient times, and today with the advent of the computer and 50 years of research into AI programming techniques, the dream of smart machines is becoming a reality. Researchers are creating systems which can mimic human thought, understand speech, beat the best human chess player, and countless other feats never before possible. Find out how the military is applying AI logic to its hi-tech systems, and how in the near future Artificial Intelligence may impact our lives. The following are the applications of Artificial Intelligence :
Game playing is programming computers to play games such as chess and checkers . The best computer chess programs are now capable of beating humans. In May, 1997, an IBM super-computer called Deep Blue defeated world chess champion Gary Kasparov in a chess match.
An expert system is a computer application that performs a task that would otherwise be performed by a human expert. For example, there are expert systems that can diagnose human illnesses, make financial forecasts, and schedule routes for delivery vehicles. Some expert systems are designed to take the place of human experts, while others are designed to aid them.
To design an expert system, one needs a knowledge engineer, an individual who studies how human experts make decisions and translates the rules into terms that a computer can understand.
The idea of expert systems is that expertise involves logical thinking, and can be modeled by compiling lists of logical propositions and performing logical transformations upon them. This might be called the "Euclidean (or geometric) model", implying a small set of axioms from which a wide range of theorems are then generated.
In the early 1980's, expert systems were believed to represent the future of artificial intelligence and of computers in general. To date, however, they have not lived up to expectations. Many expert systems help human experts in such fields as medicine and engineering, but they are very expensive to produce and are helpful only in special situations.
Programming computers to understand natural human languages . A human language. For example, English, French, and Chinese are natural languages. Computer languages, such as FORTRAN and C, are not.
Probably the single most challenging problem in computer science is to develop computers that can understand natural languages. So far, the complete solution to this problem has proved elusive, although a great deal of progress has been made. Fourth-generation languages are the programming languages closest to natural languages.
Neural Networks are systems that simulate intelligence by attempting to reproduce the types of physical connections that occur in animal brains.
A type of artificial intelligence that attempts to imitate the way a human brain works. Rather than using a digital model, in which all computations manipulate zeros and ones, a neural network works by creating connections between processing elements, the computer equivalent of neurons. The organization and weights of the connections determine the output.
Neural networks are particularly effective for predicting events when the networks have a large database of prior examples to draw on. Strictly speaking, a neural network implies a non-digital computer, but neural networks can be simulated on digital computers.
The field of neural networks was pioneered by Bernard Widrow of Stanford University in the 1950's. Neural networks are currently used prominently in voice recognition systems, image recognition systems, industrial robotics, medical imaging, data mining and aerospace applications
Neural networks are an exciting technology with the potential to change the way we solve "real-world" problems in science, engineering and economics.
Today, the hottest area of artificial intelligence is neural networks, which are proving successful in a number of disciplines such as voice recognition and natural-language processing.
The field of computer science that deals with designing computer systems that can recognize spoken words. Note that voice recognition implies only that the computer can take dictation, not that it understands what is being said. Comprehending human languages falls under a different field of computer science called natural language processing.
A number of voice recognition systems are available on the market. The most powerful can recognize thousands of words. However, they generally require an extended training session during which the computer system becomes accustomed to a particular voice and accent. Such systems are said to be speaker dependent.
Many systems also require that the speaker speak slowly and distinctly and separate each word with a short pause. These systems are called discrete speech systems. Recently, great strides have been made in continuous speech systems -- voice recognition systems that allow you to speak naturally. There are now several continuous-speech systems available for personal computers.
Because of their limitations and high cost, voice recognition systems have traditionally been used only in a few specialized situations. For example, such systems are useful in instances when the user is unable to use a keyboard to enter data because his or her hands are occupied or disabled. Instead of typing commands, the user can simply speak into a headset. Increasingly, however, as the cost decreases and performance improves, speech recognition systems are entering the mainstream and are being used as an alternative to keyboards.
Natural Language Processing
Natural-language processing offers the greatest potential rewards because it would allow people to interact with computers without needing any specialized knowledge. You could simply walk up to a computer and talk to it. Unfortunately, programming computers to understand natural languages has proved to be more difficult than originally thought. Some rudimentary translation systems that translate from one human language to another are in existence, but they are not nearly as good as human translators. There are also voice recognition systems that can convert spoken sounds into written words, but they do not understand what they are writing; they simply take dictation. Even these systems are quite limited -- you must speak slowly and distinctly.
Robotics deals with programming computers to see and hear and react to other sensory stimuli. The field of computer science and engineering concerned with creating robots, devices that can move and react to sensory input. Robotics is one branch of artificial intelligence.
Robots are now widely used in factories to perform high-precision jobs such as welding and riveting. They are also used in special situations that would be dangerous for humans -- for example, in cleaning toxic wastes or defusing bombs.
Although great advances have been made in the field of robotics during the last decade, robots are still not very useful in everyday life, as they are too clumsy to perform ordinary household chores.
In the area of robotics, computers are now widely used in assembly plants, but they are capable only of very limited tasks. Robots have great difficulty identifying objects based on appearance or feel, and they still move and handle objects clumsily.
Robot was coined by Czech playwright Karl Capek in his play R.U.R (Rossum's Universal Robots), which opened in Prague in 1921. Robota is the Czech word for forced labor.
The term robotics was introduced by writer Isaac Asimov. In his science fiction book I, Robot, published in 1950, he presented three laws of robotics:
- A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
- A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
- A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
Currently, no computers exhibit full artificial intelligence (that is, are able to simulate human behavior). The greatest advances have occurred in the field of games playing.
The world is composed of three-dimensional objects, but the inputs to the human eye and computers' TV cameras are two dimensional. Some useful programs can work solely in two dimensions, but full computer vision requires partial three-dimensional information that is not just a set of two-dimensional views. At present there are only limited ways of representing three-dimensional information directly, and they are not as good as what humans evidently use.
There are several programming languages that are known as AI languages because they are used almost exclusively for AI applications. The two most common are LISP and Prolog.
Acronym for list processor, a high-level programming language especially popular for artificial intelligence applications. LISP was developed in the early 1960's by John McCarthy at MIT.
Short for Programming Logic, Prolog is a high-level programming language based on formal logic. Unlike traditional programming languages that are based on performing sequences of commands, Prolog is based on defining and then solving logical formulas. Prolog is sometimes called a declarative language or a rule-based language because its programs consist of a list of facts and rules. Prolog is used widely for artificial intelligence applications, particularly expert systems.
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Look into Ultra Hal for some basic AI technology being implemented.