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Artificial Intelligence: Near Future or Fantasy Nightmare

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Artificial Intelligence: Near Future or Fantasy Nightmare

Technology definition

Artificial intelligence (AI), is a discipline within the field of computer science, it is a

computational device made to act in a way that we would call intelligent, either hardware or

software or a combination of both, designed to perform a specific task that might be very simple

or very complex in nature (wiseGeek). Regardless of the designated task's complexity, the

underlying functions of the intelligent agent is to solve problems (whether they be mental or

physical) using observation and analytical processes (Copeland). Matching a humans intelligence

has only had limited successes in the decades since it's commencement over 50 years ago.

AI came to the mainstream

when the IBM computer system

known as Deep Blue beat the

reigning world chess champion Gerry

Kasparov in 1996, even though

Kasparov came back to beat the

machine in a best of 6 match, it was

proven that the computer could learn

and adapt.

According to wiseGeek, the primary goal is to create an intelligent machine, that is

capable of observing, analyzing and adapting to the environment which is at hand. Computer

scientists have categorized artificial intelligence into two general areas: strong AI and weak AI.

Strong AI refers to computational intelligence that matches or exceeds human intelligence in a

precise area. Weak AI refers to computational intelligence that is not designed to match the

intelligence of a human being for any given task.

The first successful fully AI machine was a checkers game created in 1952 by

Christopher Strachey in the United Kingdom. It was too slow to be competitive or even useful

but it was a gigantic leap forward for research into the Artificial Intelligence field.

Some insects may seem intelligent with their actions such as the digger wasp. According

to Copeland, the female digger wasp carries food to the nest for the young to feed on, before

entering, she lays the food at the threshold and goes inside to search for intruders. She then

comes out to retrieve the food and carry it inside. If the food is moved a slight amount she will

repeat the process of clearing the nest of intruders upwards of 40 consecutive times. Her

behavior doesn't have the ability

of adaptation to different

circumstances which is a sign of a

lack of intelligence.

"AI has focused mainly on

the following components of

intelligence: learning, reasoning,

problem-solving, perception, and language-understanding" (Copeland).


Learning is simply remembering what happens from trial and error, for example. When

children are first learning what tastes good they spend a lot of time inserting different objects

into their mouths. If something like lemon juice is tasted, they seldom forget what the taste is and

tend to offer a face of dissatisfaction before it even touches their tongues. This form of

memorization is known as rote learning.


Reasoning is the process of forming conclusions, judgments, or inferences from facts or

premises. There are two types of reasoning, deductive and inductive, an example of deductive

reasoning is, "if the apple isn't in my right hand, it must be in the left hand". An example of

inductive reasoning is "the light burned out last month so, it must be out this time because it is

burned out again", in this instance we (as intelligent beings) would check the light switch first.

Problem Solving

There are four basic steps in solving a problem

1. Defining the problem.

a. Search for and deal with the problem, not a symptom of the problem

2. Generating alternatives.

a. Use creative alternatives derived from

1. Trial and error

2. Systematic and logical and analytical problem solving

3. Use other peoples idea's (literature or web)

4. Research and gather all data before making a decision

3. Evaluating and selecting alternatives.

a. Evaluate and compare different solutions

b. Seek cost effective/best/favorable results

4. Implementing solutions.

a. Select a step by step solution for solving the problem

b. Identify resources needed for implementation

c. Communicate the strategy for others to follow

d. Implement the timeline for completion

Language and understanding:

"Language is the expression



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