March 11, 2013
The article presents a brief history of the research into artificial intelligence. The term artificial intelligence was first proposed by researchers at the Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence in 1956. Mechanical logic was first introduced by Aristotle. Examples of artificial intelligence include the Watson super computer by IBM, Pascal’s calculator, the Turing Machine, ELIZA by MIT, Shakey the Robot from Stanford University, and the Google search engine.
Artificial Intelligence is Here
In February 2008 the research division of IBM introduced their latest Great Challenge: To design and build a computer that could win at Jeopardy. Watson is the first question-answering computer that has the ability to understand questions posed to it in everyday language, also called natural language, and answer them reliably. Watson is an artificial intelligence. This super computer was introduced to the world on the TV show in February 2011 where he was set against two returning champions whose total earnings were in the multi-million dollar range. Watson then proceeded to dominate the competition with a total earnings of $77,147. Measured against champion Ken Jennings’s $24,000 and champion Brad Rutter’s $21,600(Markoff, 2011), Watson did well indeed. Peter Norvig (2012), Director of Research at Google Inc. and teacher at Stanford University describes the field of artificial intelligence as “the science and engineering of machines that act intelligently”(p. 8). Until recently artificial intelligence has been just a playground for computer scientists and a whole universe of exploration for science fiction authors to run-a-muck. Now it’s here. Body
The term artificial intelligence did not exist before John McCarthy coined the phrase in 1956 when he sponsored the Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence. However, this was not the first appearance of “Thinking Machines”. Mechanical calculation devices have been around since the middle of the 1600’s when Blaise Pascal invented and built the first known calculating machine that could add and subtract. As the story goes Pascal built this device to help his father do his tax collection work (Harris, p. 10). In the 1930s Alan Turing invented a device that could solve complex problems through simple logic based steps. In comparison to today’s computer standards these Turing machines are incredibly simple, but they were the first step on the road that led to the modern computer. Surprisingly, the logical process that today’s computers are programmed with was first devised by Aristotle when he postulated syllogism. Syllogism is a method of formal mechanical logic that argues if some S are W, all S are B; therefore some B are W. This syllogism allows us to make conclusions from premises (Norvig, 8). From the format of syllogisms computer scientists developed algorithms. An algorithm is a step by step question and yes or no answer tree that if programed correctly and followed perfectly, will lead to the correct solution to the original question. Algorithms are the basic programming building blocks of modern artificial intelligence. The goal of artificial intelligence has been to create an intelligence that through interaction between itself and a human being, the human could not tell the difference between the AI and another human being. Alan Turing designed a test to see if a computer could be for intelligence. Scientists call this test the Turing Test. The Turing Test uses a human operator to pose questions to a computer and another human operator. Both would give their answers simultaneously and the operator who posed the question would decide which answer came from the human and which from the computer. If the operator could not tell the difference, then Turing felt that the test showed that the computer was acting...