November 21, 2011
“The goal of many computer scientists since the mid-20th century has been to create a computer that could perform logical operations.”(Bowles, 2010, 9.2). The journey to achieving this is called Artificial Intelligence, which is considered to be the branch of computer science that is focused on creating machines that engage in human behavior, and intelligence. “The term Artificial Intelligence was first coined at the Dartmouth Conference in 1956 by John McCarthy.” (McCorduck, 2004, 2.5). “The Dartmouth conference paved the way for examining the use of computers to process symbols, the need for new languages and the role of computers for theorem proving instead of focusing on hardware that simulated intelligence.”(Krishnamoorthy & Rajeev, 1996, 9.1). Even though this name was coined in 1956, we saw artificial intelligence 15 years earlier when the electronic computer was created in 1941. Artificial Intelligence is an exciting subject that will only get better with time, allowing humans to do things that were never thought to be reality, until the last few decades. In this paper, I will be telling you about the four main studies of artificial intelligence and their importance to our society, as well as how they are affecting our everyday lives. These four studies are expert systems, natural language, neural networks, and robotics. Mostly all artificial intelligences can be categorized under these four studies. Not only are these technologies making life easier, they are making life more enjoyable for all societies. The first study of artificial intelligence I will talk about is expert systems. Expert systems are computer programs that contain large amounts of information in a certain field. These programs use this large amount of information to solve problems that normally would require human intelligence. The great thing about expert systems is that they can process information, in seconds, which would take humans days. Every expert system is made up of two parts: knowledge, and reasoning. “The knowledge base of the expert systems contains both factual and heuristic knowledge.”(Engelmore & Feigenbaum, 1993, 1.2). The knowledge is the information, while the reasoning is the problem solving aspect of the expert system. “One common, but powerful paradigm involves chaining of if-then rules to form a line of reasoning.”(Engelmore & Feigenbaum, 1993, 1.2). For example, if you have these symptoms, then you must have a head cold. Expert systems are affecting our everyday lives by diagnosing illnesses, and predicting the weather. “One of the first systems was a computer that could perform a medical diagnosis.” (Bowles, 2010, 9.2). A doctor can enter symptoms into a computer, and then process a few questions for the doctor; after answering the questions the computer will make a diagnosis of the patient. This is very useful to doctors because now they can see more patients, and give promising diagnosis efficiently. The second way expert systems are affecting our lives is by predicting the weather. Meteorologists are using these systems to help predict hurricanes and tornadoes. This is very helpful to society, giving people more evacuation time during major storms.
The second study of artificial intelligence is Natural Language, which is considered human language. “Natural language processing programs use artificial intelligence to allow a user to communicate with a computer in the user’s natural language.”(Poole & Mackworth, 2010, 12.6). The computer can both understand and respond to commands given in human language. The two biggest hurdles in this study are phonetic knowledge, and pragmatic knowledge. Phonetic knowledge concerns how words are realized, and how words are realized as sounds. Pragmatic Knowledge has to do with how sentences are used in different contexts and how that affects sentence...