Artificial intelligence

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Template:Redirect Template:Other uses Artificial intelligence (AI) is the intelligence of machines and the branch of computer science that aims to create it. AI textbooks define the field as "the study and design of intelligent agents"<ref name="Definition of AI"/> where an intelligent agent is a system that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chances of success.<ref name="Intelligent agents"/> John McCarthy, who coined the term in 1955,<ref name="Coining of the term AI"/> defines it as "the science and engineering of making intelligent machines."<ref name="McCarthy's definition of AI"/>

AI research is highly technical and specialized, deeply divided into subfields that often fail to communicate with each other.<ref name="Fragmentation of AI"/> Some of the division is due to social and cultural factors: subfields have grown up around particular institutions and the work of individual researchers. AI research is also divided by several technical issues. There are subfields which are focused on the solution of specific problems, on one of several possible approaches, on the use of widely differing tools and towards the accomplishment of particular applications. The central problems of AI include such traits as reasoning, knowledge, planning, learning, communication, perception and the ability to move and manipulate objects.<ref name="Problems of AI"/> General intelligence (or "strong AI") is still among the field's long term goals.<ref name="General intelligence"/> Currently popular approaches include statistical methods, computational intelligence and traditional symbolic AI. There are an enormous number of tools used in AI, including versions of search and mathematical optimization, logic, methods based on probability and economics, and many others.

The field was founded on the claim that a central property of humans, intelligence—the sapience of Homo sapiens—can be so precisely described that it can be simulated by a machine.<ref>See the Dartmouth proposal, under Philosophy, below.</ref> This raises philosophical issues about the nature of the mind and the ethics of creating artificial beings, issues which have been addressed by myth, fiction and philosophy since antiquity.<ref name="McCorduck's thesis"/> Artificial intelligence has been the subject of optimism,<ref>The optimism referred to includes the predictions of early AI researchers (see optimism in the history of AI) as well as the ideas of modern transhumanists such as Ray Kurzweil.</ref> but has also suffered setbacks<ref>The "setbacks" referred to include the ALPAC report of 1966, the abandonment of perceptrons in 1970, the Lighthill Report of 1973 and the collapse of the lisp machine market in 1987.</ref> and, today, has become an essential part of the technology industry, providing the heavy lifting for many of the most difficult problems in computer science.<ref name="AI widely used"/>




Thinking machines and artificial beings appear in Greek myths, such as Talos of Crete, the bronze robot of Hephaestus, and Pygmalion's Galatea.<ref name="AI in myth"/> Human likenesses believed to have intelligence were built in every major civilization: animated cult images were worshipped in Egypt and Greece<ref name="Cult images as artificial intelligence"/> and humanoid automatons were built by Yan Shi, Hero of Alexandria and Al-Jazari.<ref name="Humanoid automata"/> It was also widely believed that artificial beings had been created by Jābir ibn Hayyān, Judah Loew and Paracelsus.<ref name="Artificial beings"/> By the 19th and 20th centuries, artificial beings had become a common feature in fiction, as in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or Karel Čapek's R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots).<ref name="AI in early science fiction"/> Pamela McCorduck argues that all of these are examples of an ancient urge, as she describes it, "to forge the gods".<ref name="McCorduck's thesis"/> Stories of these creatures and their fates discuss many of the same hopes, fears and ethical concerns that are presented by artificial intelligence.

Mechanical or "formal" reasoning has been developed by philosophers and mathematicians since antiquity. The study of logic led directly to the invention of the programmable digital electronic computer, based on the work of mathematician Alan Turing and others. Turing's theory of computation suggested that a machine, by shuffling symbols as simple as "0" and "1", could simulate any conceivable (imaginable) act of mathematical deduction.<ref>This insight, that digital computers can simulate any process of formal reasoning, is known as the Church–Turing thesis.</ref><ref name="Formal reasoning"/> This, along with concurrent discoveries in neurology, information theory and cybernetics, inspired a small group of researchers to begin to seriously consider the possibility of building an electronic brain.<ref name="AI's immediate precursors"/>

The field of AI research was founded at a conference on the campus of Dartmouth College in the summer of 1956.<ref name="Dartmouth conference"/> The attendees, including John McCarthy, Marvin Minsky, Allen Newell and Herbert Simon, became the leaders of AI research for many decades.<ref name="Hegemony of the Dartmouth conference attendees"/> They and their students wrote programs that were, to most people, simply astonishing:<ref>Russell and Norvig write "it was astonishing whenever a computer did anything kind of smartish." Template:Harvnb</ref> Computers were solving word problems in algebra, proving logical theorems and speaking English.<ref name="Golden years of AI"/> By the middle of the 1960s, research in the U.S. was heavily funded by the Department of Defense<ref name="AI funding in the 60s"/> and laboratories had been established around the world.<ref name="AI in England"/> AI's founders were profoundly optimistic about the future of the new field: Herbert Simon predicted that "machines will be capable, within twenty years, of doing any work a man can do" and Marvin Minsky agreed, writing that "within a generation ... the problem of creating 'artificial intelligence' will substantially be solved".<ref name="Optimism of early AI"/>

They had failed to recognize the difficulty of some of the problems they faced.<ref>See Template:See section</ref> In 1974, in response to the criticism of Sir James Lighthill and ongoing pressure from the US Congress to fund more productive projects, both the U.S. and British governments cut off all undirected exploratory research in AI. The next few years, when funding for projects was hard to find, would later be called the "AI winter".<ref name="First AI winter"/>

In the early 1980s, AI research was revived by the commercial success of expert systems,<ref name="Expert systems"/> a form of AI program that simulated the knowledge and analytical skills of one or more human experts. By 1985 the market for AI had reached over a billion dollars. At the same time, Japan's fifth generation computer project inspired the U.S and British governments to restore funding for academic research in the field.<ref name="AI in the 80s"/> However, beginning with the collapse of the Lisp Machine market in 1987, AI once again fell into disrepute, and a second, longer lasting AI winter began.<ref name="Second AI winter"/>

In the 1990s and early 21st century, AI achieved its greatest successes, albeit somewhat behind the scenes. Artificial intelligence is used for logistics, data mining, medical diagnosis and many other areas throughout the technology industry.<ref name="AI widely used"/> The success was due to several factors: the increasing computational power of computers (see Moore's law), a greater emphasis on solving specific subproblems, the creation of new ties between AI and other fields working on similar problems, and a new commitment by researchers to solid mathematical methods and rigorous scientific standards.<ref name="Formal methods in AI"/>

On 11 May 1997, Deep Blue became the first computer chess-playing system to beat a reigning world chess champion, Garry Kasparov.<ref>Template:Harvnb</ref> In 2005, a Stanford robot won the DARPA Grand Challenge by driving autonomously for 131 miles along an unrehearsed desert trail.<ref>DARPA Grand Challenge – home page</ref> Two years later, a team from CMU won the DARPA Urban Challenge when their vehicle autonomously navigated 55 miles in an Urban environment while adhering to traffic hazards and all traffic laws.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> In February 2011, in a Jeopardy! quiz show exhibition match, IBM's question answering system, Watson, defeated the two greatest Jeopardy! champions, Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings, by a significant margin.<ref>Template:Cite news</ref>

The leading-edge definition of artificial intelligence research is changing over time. One pragmatic definition is: "AI research is that which computing scientists do not know how to do cost-effectively today." For example, in 1956 optical character recognition (OCR) was considered AI, but today, sophisticated OCR software with a context-sensitive spell checker and grammar checker software comes for free with most image scanners. No one would any longer consider already-solved computing science problems like OCR "artificial intelligence" today.

Low-cost entertaining chess-playing software is commonly available for tablet computers. DARPA no longer provides significant funding for chess-playing computing system development. The Kinect which provides a 3D body–motion interface for the Xbox 360 uses algorithms that emerged from lengthy AI research,<ref>Kinect's AI breakthrough explained</ref> but few consumers realize the technology source.

AI applications are no longer the exclusive domain of U.S. Department of Defense R&D, but are now commonplace consumer items and inexpensive intelligent toys.

In common usage, the term "AI" no longer seems to apply to off-the-shelf solved computing-science problems, which may have originally emerged out of years of AI research. Template:Break


The general problem of simulating (or creating) intelligence has been broken down into a number of specific sub-problems. These consist of particular traits or capabilities that researchers would like an intelligent system to display. The traits described below have received the most attention.<ref name="Problems of AI"/>

Deduction, reasoning, problem solving

Early AI researchers developed algorithms that imitated the step-by-step reasoning that humans use when they solve puzzles or make logical deductions.<ref name="Reasoning"/> By the late 1980s and '90s, AI research had also developed highly successful methods for dealing with uncertain or incomplete information, employing concepts from probability and economics.<ref name="Uncertain reasoning"/>

For difficult problems, most of these algorithms can require enormous computational resources – most experience a "combinatorial explosion": the amount of memory or computer time required becomes astronomical when the problem goes beyond a certain size. The search for more efficient problem-solving algorithms is a high priority for AI research.<ref name="Intractability"/>

Human beings solve most of their problems using fast, intuitive judgements rather than the conscious, step-by-step deduction that early AI research was able to model.<ref name="Psychological evidence of sub-symbolic reasoning"/> AI has made some progress at imitating this kind of "sub-symbolic" problem solving: embodied agent approaches emphasize the importance of sensorimotor skills to higher reasoning; neural net research attempts to simulate the structures inside the brain that give rise to this skill; statistical approaches to AI mimic the probabilistic nature of the human ability to guess.

Knowledge representation

File:GFO taxonomy tree.png
An ontology represents knowledge as a set of concepts within a domain and the relationships between those concepts.


Knowledge representation<ref name="Knowledge representation"/> and knowledge engineering<ref name="Knowledge engineering"/> are central to AI research. Many of the problems machines are expected to solve will require extensive knowledge about the world. Among the things that AI needs to represent are: objects, properties, categories and relations between objects;<ref name="Representing categories and relations"/> situations, events, states and time;<ref name="Representing time"/> causes and effects;<ref name="Representing causation"/> knowledge about knowledge (what we know about what other people know);<ref name="Representing knowledge about knowledge"/> and many other, less well researched domains. A representation of "what exists" is an ontology (borrowing a word from traditional philosophy), of which the most general are called upper ontologies.<ref name="Ontology"/>

Among the most difficult problems in knowledge representation are:

Default reasoning and the qualification problem
Many of the things people know take the form of "working assumptions." For example, if a bird comes up in conversation, people typically picture an animal that is fist sized, sings, and flies. None of these things are true about all birds. John McCarthy identified this problem in 1969<ref name="Qualification problem"/> as the qualification problem: for any commonsense rule that AI researchers care to represent, there tend to be a huge number of exceptions. Almost nothing is simply true or false in the way that abstract logic requires. AI research has explored a number of solutions to this problem.<ref name="Default reasoning and non-monotonic logic"/>
The breadth of commonsense knowledge
The number of atomic facts that the average person knows is astronomical. Research projects that attempt to build a complete knowledge base of commonsense knowledge (e.g., Cyc) require enormous amounts of laborious ontological engineering — they must be built, by hand, one complicated concept at a time.<ref name="Breadth of commonsense knowledge"/> A major goal is to have the computer understand enough concepts to be able to learn by reading from sources like the internet, and thus be able to add to its own ontology.Template:Citation needed
The subsymbolic form of some commonsense knowledge
Much of what people know is not represented as "facts" or "statements" that they could express verbally. For example, a chess master will avoid a particular chess position because it "feels too exposed"<ref>Template:Harvnb</ref> or an art critic can take one look at a statue and instantly realize that it is a fake.<ref>Template:Harvnb</ref> These are intuitions or tendencies that are represented in the brain non-consciously and sub-symbolically.<ref name="Intuition"/> Knowledge like this informs, supports and provides a context for symbolic, conscious knowledge. As with the related problem of sub-symbolic reasoning, it is hoped that situated AI, computational intelligence, or statistical AI will provide ways to represent this kind of knowledge.<ref name="Intuition"/>


A hierarchical control system is a form of control system in which a set of devices and governing software is arranged in a hierarchy.


Intelligent agents must be able to set goals and achieve them.<ref name="Planning"/> They need a way to visualize the future (they must have a representation of the state of the world and be able to make predictions about how their actions will change it) and be able to make choices that maximize the utility (or "value") of the available choices.<ref name="Information value theory"/>

In classical planning problems, the agent can assume that it is the only thing acting on the world and it can be certain what the consequences of its actions may be.<ref name="Classical planning"/> However, if the agent is not the only actor, it must periodically ascertain whether the world matches its predictions and it must change its plan as this becomes necessary, requiring the agent to reason under uncertainty.<ref name="Non-deterministic planning"/>

Multi-agent planning uses the cooperation and competition of many agents to achieve a given goal. Emergent behavior such as this is used by evolutionary algorithms and swarm intelligence.<ref name="Multi-agent planning"/>



Machine learning<ref name="Machine learning"/> has been central to AI research from the beginning.<ref> Alan Turing discussed the centrality of learning as early as 1950, in his classic paper Computing Machinery and Intelligence. Template:Harv</ref> In 1956, at the original Dartmouth AI summer conference, Ray Solomonoff wrote a report on unsupervised probabilistic machine learning: "An Inductive Inference Machine".<ref>(pdf scanned copy of the original) (version published in 1957, An Inductive Inference Machine," IRE Convention Record, Section on Information Theory, Part 2, pp. 56–62)</ref> Unsupervised learning is the ability to find patterns in a stream of input. Supervised learning includes both classification and numerical regression. Classification is used to determine what category something belongs in, after seeing a number of examples of things from several categories. Regression is the attempt to produce a function that describes the relationship between inputs and outputs and predicts how the outputs should change as the inputs change. In reinforcement learning<ref name="Reinforcement learning"/> the agent is rewarded for good responses and punished for bad ones. These can be analyzed in terms of decision theory, using concepts like utility. The mathematical analysis of machine learning algorithms and their performance is a branch of theoretical computer science known as computational learning theory.<ref name="Computational learning theory"/>

Natural language processing

A parse tree represents the syntactic structure of a sentence according to some formal grammar.


Natural language processing<ref name="Natural language processing"/> gives machines the ability to read and understand the languages that humans speak. A sufficiently powerful natural language processing system would enable natural language user interfaces and the acquisition of knowledge directly from human-written sources, such as Internet texts. Some straightforward applications of natural language processing include information retrieval (or text mining) and machine translation.<ref name="Applications of natural language processing"/>

A common method of processing and extracting meaning from natural language is through semantic indexing. Increases in processing speeds and the drop in the cost of data storage makes indexing large volumes of abstractions of the users input much more efficient.

Motion and manipulation


The field of robotics<ref name="Robotics"/> is closely related to AI. Intelligence is required for robots to be able to handle such tasks as object manipulation<ref name="Configuration space"/> and navigation, with sub-problems of localization (knowing where you are, or finding out where other things are), mapping (learning what is around you, building a map of the environment), and motion planning (figuring out how to get there) or path planning (going from one point in space to another point, which may involve compliant motion - where the robot moves while maintaining physical contact with an object).<ref>Tecuci, G. (2012), Artificial intelligence. WIREs Comp Stat, 4: 168–180. doi: 10.1002/wics.200</ref><ref name="Robotic mapping"/>



Machine perception<ref name="Machine perception"/> is the ability to use input from sensors (such as cameras, microphones, sonar and others more exotic) to deduce aspects of the world. Computer vision<ref name="Computer vision"/> is the ability to analyze visual input. A few selected subproblems are speech recognition,<ref name="Speech recognition"/> facial recognition and object recognition.<ref name="Object recognition"/>

Social intelligence


File:Kismet robot at MIT Museum.jpg
Kismet, a robot with rudimentary social skills<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

Affective computing is the study and development of systems and devices that can recognize, interpret, process, and simulate human affects.<ref>Template:Cite book</ref><ref>Template:Cite book</ref> It is an interdisciplinary field spanning computer sciences, psychology, and cognitive science.<ref name=TaoTan>Template:Cite conference</ref> While the origins of the field may be traced as far back as to early philosophical enquiries into emotion,<ref>Template:Cite journal Cited by Tao and Tan.</ref> the more modern branch of computer science originated with Rosalind Picard's 1995 paper<ref>"Affective Computing" MIT Technical Report #321 (Abstract), 1995</ref> on affective computing.<ref> Template:Cite web </ref><ref> Template:Cite web </ref> A motivation for the research is the ability to simulate empathy. The machine should interpret the emotional state of humans and adapt its behaviour to them, giving an appropriate response for those emotions.

Emotion and social skills<ref name="Emotion and affective computing"/> play two roles for an intelligent agent. First, it must be able to predict the actions of others, by understanding their motives and emotional states. (This involves elements of game theory, decision theory, as well as the ability to model human emotions and the perceptual skills to detect emotions.) Also, in an effort to facilitate human-computer interaction, an intelligent machine might want to be able to display emotions—even if it does not actually experience them itself—in order to appear sensitive to the emotional dynamics of human interaction.



A sub-field of AI addresses creativity both theoretically (from a philosophical and psychological perspective) and practically (via specific implementations of systems that generate outputs that can be considered creative, or systems that identify and assess creativity). Related areas of computational research are Artificial intuition and Artificial imagination.Template:Citation needed

General intelligence


Most researchers hope that their work will eventually be incorporated into a machine with general intelligence (known as strong AI), combining all the skills above and exceeding human abilities at most or all of them.<ref name="General intelligence"/> A few believe that anthropomorphic features like artificial consciousness or an artificial brain may be required for such a project.<ref name="Artificial consciousness"/><ref name="Brain simulation"/>

Many of the problems above are considered AI-complete: to solve one problem, you must solve them all. For example, even a straightforward, specific task like machine translation requires that the machine follow the author's argument (reason), know what is being talked about (knowledge), and faithfully reproduce the author's intention (social intelligence). Machine translation, therefore, is believed to be AI-complete: it may require strong AI to be done as well as humans can do it.<ref name="AI complete"/>


There is no established unifying theory or paradigm that guides AI research. Researchers disagree about many issues.<ref>Nils Nilsson writes: "Simply put, there is wide disagreement in the field about what AI is all about" Template:Harv.</ref> A few of the most long standing questions that have remained unanswered are these: should artificial intelligence simulate natural intelligence by studying psychology or neurology? Or is human biology as irrelevant to AI research as bird biology is to aeronautical engineering?<ref name="Biological intelligence vs. intelligence in general"/> Can intelligent behavior be described using simple, elegant principles (such as logic or optimization)? Or does it necessarily require solving a large number of completely unrelated problems?<ref name="Neats vs. scruffies"/> Can intelligence be reproduced using high-level symbols, similar to words and ideas? Or does it require "sub-symbolic" processing?<ref name="Symbolic vs. sub-symbolic"/> John Haugeland, who coined the term GOFAI (Good Old-Fashioned Artificial Intelligence), also proposed that AI should more properly be referred to as synthetic intelligence,Template:Sfn a term which has since been adopted by some non-GOFAI researchers.<ref></ref><ref name="Wang2008">Template:Cite book</ref>

Cybernetics and brain simulation

Template:Main In the 1940s and 1950s, a number of researchers explored the connection between neurology, information theory, and cybernetics. Some of them built machines that used electronic networks to exhibit rudimentary intelligence, such as W. Grey Walter's turtles and the Johns Hopkins Beast. Many of these researchers gathered for meetings of the Teleological Society at Princeton University and the Ratio Club in England.<ref name="AI's immediate precursors"/> By 1960, this approach was largely abandoned, although elements of it would be revived in the 1980s.


Template:Main When access to digital computers became possible in the middle 1950s, AI research began to explore the possibility that human intelligence could be reduced to symbol manipulation. The research was centered in three institutions: CMU, Stanford and MIT, and each one developed its own style of research. John Haugeland named these approaches to AI "good old fashioned AI" or "GOFAI".<ref name="GOFAI"/> During the 1960s, symbolic approaches had achieved great success at simulating high-level thinking in small demonstration programs. Approaches based on cybernetics or neural networks were abandoned or pushed into the background.<ref>The most dramatic case of sub-symbolic AI being pushed into the background was the devastating critique of perceptrons by Marvin Minsky and Seymour Papert in 1969. See History of AI, AI winter, or Frank Rosenblatt.</ref> Researchers in the 1960s and the 1970s were convinced that symbolic approaches would eventually succeed in creating a machine with artificial general intelligence and considered this the goal of their field.

Cognitive simulation
Economist Herbert Simon and Allen Newell studied human problem-solving skills and attempted to formalize them, and their work laid the foundations of the field of artificial intelligence, as well as cognitive science, operations research and management science. Their research team used the results of psychological experiments to develop programs that simulated the techniques that people used to solve problems. This tradition, centered at Carnegie Mellon University would eventually culminate in the development of the Soar architecture in the middle 80s.<ref name="AI at CMU in the 60s"/><ref name="Soar"/>
Unlike Newell and Simon, John McCarthy felt that machines did not need to simulate human thought, but should instead try to find the essence of abstract reasoning and problem solving, regardless of whether people used the same algorithms.<ref name="Biological intelligence vs. intelligence in general"/> His laboratory at Stanford (SAIL) focused on using formal logic to solve a wide variety of problems, including knowledge representation, planning and learning.<ref name="AI at Stanford in the 60s"/> Logic was also focus of the work at the University of Edinburgh and elsewhere in Europe which led to the development of the programming language Prolog and the science of logic programming.<ref name="AI at Edinburgh and France in the 60s"/>
"Anti-logic" or "scruffy"
Researchers at MIT (such as Marvin Minsky and Seymour Papert)<ref name="AI at MIT in the 60s"/> found that solving difficult problems in vision and natural language processing required ad-hoc solutions – they argued that there was no simple and general principle (like logic) that would capture all the aspects of intelligent behavior. Roger Schank described their "anti-logic" approaches as "scruffy" (as opposed to the "neat" paradigms at CMU and Stanford).<ref name="Neats vs. scruffies"/> Commonsense knowledge bases (such as Doug Lenat's Cyc) are an example of "scruffy" AI, since they must be built by hand, one complicated concept at a time.<ref name="Cyc"/>
When computers with large memories became available around 1970, researchers from all three traditions began to build knowledge into AI applications.<ref name="Knowledge revolution"/> This "knowledge revolution" led to the development and deployment of expert systems (introduced by Edward Feigenbaum), the first truly successful form of AI software.<ref name="Expert systems"/> The knowledge revolution was also driven by the realization that enormous amounts of knowledge would be required by many simple AI applications.


By the 1980s progress in symbolic AI seemed to stall and many believed that symbolic systems would never be able to imitate all the processes of human cognition, especially perception, robotics, learning and pattern recognition. A number of researchers began to look into "sub-symbolic" approaches to specific AI problems.<ref name="Symbolic vs. sub-symbolic"/>

Bottom-up, embodied, situated, behavior-based or nouvelle AI
Researchers from the related field of robotics, such as Rodney Brooks, rejected symbolic AI and focused on the basic engineering problems that would allow robots to move and survive.<ref name="Embodied AI"/> Their work revived the non-symbolic viewpoint of the early cybernetics researchers of the 50s and reintroduced the use of control theory in AI. This coincided with the development of the embodied mind thesis in the related field of cognitive science: the idea that aspects of the body (such as movement, perception and visualization) are required for higher intelligence.
Computational Intelligence
Interest in neural networks and "connectionism" was revived by David Rumelhart and others in the middle 1980s.<ref name="Revival of connectionism"/> These and other sub-symbolic approaches, such as fuzzy systems and evolutionary computation, are now studied collectively by the emerging discipline of computational intelligence.<ref name="Computational intelligence"/>


In the 1990s, AI researchers developed sophisticated mathematical tools to solve specific subproblems. These tools are truly scientific, in the sense that their results are both measurable and verifiable, and they have been responsible for many of AI's recent successes. The shared mathematical language has also permitted a high level of collaboration with more established fields (like mathematics, economics or operations research). Stuart Russell and Peter Norvig describe this movement as nothing less than a "revolution" and "the victory of the neats."<ref name="Formal methods in AI"/> Critics argue that these techniques are too focused on particular problems and have failed to address the long term goal of general intelligence.<ref>Pat Langley, "The changing science of machine learning", Machine Learning, Volume 82, Number 3, 275–279, Template:Doi</ref> There is an ongoing debate about the relevance and validity of statistical approaches in AI, exemplified in part by exchanges between Peter Norvig and Noam Chomsky, as described in,.<ref>Yarden Katz, "Noam Chomsky on Where Artificial Intelligence Went Wrong", The Atlantic, November 1, 2012</ref><ref>Peter Norvig, "On Chomsky and the Two Cultures of Statistical Learning"</ref>

Integrating the approaches

Intelligent agent paradigm
An intelligent agent is a system that perceives its environment and takes actions which maximize its chances of success. The simplest intelligent agents are programs that solve specific problems. More complicated agents include human beings and organizations of human beings (such as firms). The paradigm gives researchers license to study isolated problems and find solutions that are both verifiable and useful, without agreeing on one single approach. An agent that solves a specific problem can use any approach that works – some agents are symbolic and logical, some are sub-symbolic neural networks and others may use new approaches. The paradigm also gives researchers a common language to communicate with other fields—such as decision theory and economics—that also use concepts of abstract agents. The intelligent agent paradigm became widely accepted during the 1990s.<ref name="Intelligent agents"/>
Agent architectures and cognitive architectures
Researchers have designed systems to build intelligent systems out of interacting intelligent agents in a multi-agent system.<ref name="Agent architectures"/> A system with both symbolic and sub-symbolic components is a hybrid intelligent system, and the study of such systems is artificial intelligence systems integration. A hierarchical control system provides a bridge between sub-symbolic AI at its lowest, reactive levels and traditional symbolic AI at its highest levels, where relaxed time constraints permit planning and world modelling.<ref name="Hierarchical control system"/> Rodney Brooks' subsumption architecture was an early proposal for such a hierarchical system.<ref name="Subsumption architecture"/>


In the course of 50 years of research, AI has developed a large number of tools to solve the most difficult problems in computer science. A few of the most general of these methods are discussed below.

Search and optimization


Many problems in AI can be solved in theory by intelligently searching through many possible solutions:<ref name="Search"/> Reasoning can be reduced to performing a search. For example, logical proof can be viewed as searching for a path that leads from premises to conclusions, where each step is the application of an inference rule.<ref name="Logic as search"/> Planning algorithms search through trees of goals and subgoals, attempting to find a path to a target goal, a process called means-ends analysis.<ref name="Planning as search"/> Robotics algorithms for moving limbs and grasping objects use local searches in configuration space.<ref name="Configuration space" /> Many learning algorithms use search algorithms based on optimization.

Simple exhaustive searches<ref name="Uninformed search"/> are rarely sufficient for most real world problems: the search space (the number of places to search) quickly grows to astronomical numbers. The result is a search that is too slow or never completes. The solution, for many problems, is to use "heuristics" or "rules of thumb" that eliminate choices that are unlikely to lead to the goal (called "pruning the search tree"). Heuristics supply the program with a "best guess" for the path on which the solution lies.<ref name="Informed search"/>

A very different kind of search came to prominence in the 1990s, based on the mathematical theory of optimization. For many problems, it is possible to begin the search with some form of a guess and then refine the guess incrementally until no more refinements can be made. These algorithms can be visualized as blind hill climbing: we begin the search at a random point on the landscape, and then, by jumps or steps, we keep moving our guess uphill, until we reach the top. Other optimization algorithms are simulated annealing, beam search and random optimization.<ref name="Optimization search"/>

Evolutionary computation uses a form of optimization search. For example, they may begin with a population of organisms (the guesses) and then allow them to mutate and recombine, selecting only the fittest to survive each generation (refining the guesses). Forms of evolutionary computation include swarm intelligence algorithms (such as ant colony or particle swarm optimization)<ref name="Society based learning"/> and evolutionary algorithms (such as genetic algorithms, gene expression programming, and genetic programming).<ref name="Genetic programming"/>



Logic<ref name="Logic"/> is used for knowledge representation and problem solving, but it can be applied to other problems as well. For example, the satplan algorithm uses logic for planning<ref name="Satplan"/> and inductive logic programming is a method for learning.<ref name="Symbolic learning techniques"/>

Several different forms of logic are used in AI research. Propositional or sentential logic<ref name="Propositional logic"/> is the logic of statements which can be true or false. First-order logic<ref name="First-order logic"/> also allows the use of quantifiers and predicates, and can express facts about objects, their properties, and their relations with each other. Fuzzy logic,<ref name="Fuzzy logic"/> is a version of first-order logic which allows the truth of a statement to be represented as a value between 0 and 1, rather than simply True (1) or False (0). Fuzzy systems can be used for uncertain reasoning and have been widely used in modern industrial and consumer product control systems. Subjective logic<ref name="Subjective logic"/> models uncertainty in a different and more explicit manner than fuzzy-logic: a given binomial opinion satisfies belief + disbelief + uncertainty = 1 within a Beta distribution. By this method, ignorance can be distinguished from probabilistic statements that an agent makes with high confidence.

Default logics, non-monotonic logics and circumscription<ref name="Default reasoning and non-monotonic logic"/> are forms of logic designed to help with default reasoning and the qualification problem. Several extensions of logic have been designed to handle specific domains of knowledge, such as: description logics;<ref name="Representing categories and relations"/> situation calculus, event calculus and fluent calculus (for representing events and time);<ref name="Representing time"/> causal calculus;<ref name="Representing causation"/> belief calculus; and modal logics.<ref name="Representing knowledge about knowledge"/>

Probabilistic methods for uncertain reasoning


Many problems in AI (in reasoning, planning, learning, perception and robotics) require the agent to operate with incomplete or uncertain information. AI researchers have devised a number of powerful tools to solve these problems using methods from probability theory and economics.<ref name="Stochastic methods for uncertain reasoning"/>

Bayesian networks<ref name="Bayesian networks"/> are a very general tool that can be used for a large number of problems: reasoning (using the Bayesian inference algorithm),<ref name="Bayesian inference"/> learning (using the expectation-maximization algorithm),<ref name="Bayesian learning"/> planning (using decision networks)<ref name="Bayesian decision networks"/> and perception (using dynamic Bayesian networks).<ref name="Stochastic temporal models"/> Probabilistic algorithms can also be used for filtering, prediction, smoothing and finding explanations for streams of data, helping perception systems to analyze processes that occur over time (e.g., hidden Markov models or Kalman filters).<ref name="Stochastic temporal models"/>

A key concept from the science of economics is "utility": a measure of how valuable something is to an intelligent agent. Precise mathematical tools have been developed that analyze how an agent can make choices and plan, using decision theory, decision analysis,<ref name="Decisions theory and analysis"/> information value theory.<ref name="Information value theory"/> These tools include models such as Markov decision processes,<ref name="Markov decision process"/> dynamic decision networks,<ref name="Stochastic temporal models" /> game theory and mechanism design.<ref name="Game theory and mechanism design"/>

Classifiers and statistical learning methods


The simplest AI applications can be divided into two types: classifiers ("if shiny then diamond") and controllers ("if shiny then pick up"). Controllers do however also classify conditions before inferring actions, and therefore classification forms a central part of many AI systems. Classifiers are functions that use pattern matching to determine a closest match. They can be tuned according to examples, making them very attractive for use in AI. These examples are known as observations or patterns. In supervised learning, each pattern belongs to a certain predefined class. A class can be seen as a decision that has to be made. All the observations combined with their class labels are known as a data set. When a new observation is received, that observation is classified based on previous experience.<ref name="Classifiers"/>

A classifier can be trained in various ways; there are many statistical and machine learning approaches. The most widely used classifiers are the neural network,<ref name="Neural networks" /> kernel methods such as the support vector machine,<ref name="Kernel methods"/> k-nearest neighbor algorithm,<ref name="K-nearest neighbor algorithm"/> Gaussian mixture model,<ref name="Guassian mixture model"/> naive Bayes classifier,<ref name="Naive Bayes classifier"/> and decision tree.<ref name="Decision tree"/> The performance of these classifiers have been compared over a wide range of tasks. Classifier performance depends greatly on the characteristics of the data to be classified. There is no single classifier that works best on all given problems; this is also referred to as the "no free lunch" theorem. Determining a suitable classifier for a given problem is still more an art than science.<ref name="Classifier performance"/>

Neural networks


File:Artificial neural network.svg
A neural network is an interconnected group of nodes, akin to the vast network of neurons in the human brain.

The study of artificial neural networks<ref name="Neural networks"/> began in the decade before the field AI research was founded, in the work of Walter Pitts and Warren McCullough. Other important early researchers were Frank Rosenblatt, who invented the perceptron and Paul Werbos who developed the backpropagation algorithm.<ref name="Backpropagation"/>

The main categories of networks are acyclic or feedforward neural networks (where the signal passes in only one direction) and recurrent neural networks (which allow feedback). Among the most popular feedforward networks are perceptrons, multi-layer perceptrons and radial basis networks.<ref name="Feedforward neural networks"/> Among recurrent networks, the most famous is the Hopfield net, a form of attractor network, which was first described by John Hopfield in 1982.<ref name="Recurrent neural networks"/> Neural networks can be applied to the problem of intelligent control (for robotics) or learning, using such techniques as Hebbian learning and competitive learning.<ref name="Learning in neural networks"/>

Hierarchical temporal memory is an approach that models some of the structural and algorithmic properties of the neocortex.<ref name="Hierarchical temporal memory"/>

Control theory

Template:Main Control theory, the grandchild of cybernetics, has many important applications, especially in robotics.<ref name="Control theory"/>



AI researchers have developed several specialized languages for AI research, including Lisp<ref name="Lisp"/> and Prolog.<ref name="Prolog"/>

Evaluating progress

Template:Main In 1950, Alan Turing proposed a general procedure to test the intelligence of an agent now known as the Turing test. This procedure allows almost all the major problems of artificial intelligence to be tested. However, it is a very difficult challenge and at present all agents fail.<ref name="Turing test"/>

Artificial intelligence can also be evaluated on specific problems such as small problems in chemistry, hand-writing recognition and game-playing. Such tests have been termed subject matter expert Turing tests. Smaller problems provide more achievable goals and there are an ever-increasing number of positive results.<ref name="Subject matter expert Turing test"/>

One classification for outcomes of an AI test is:<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref>

  1. Optimal: it is not possible to perform better.
  2. Strong super-human: performs better than all humans.
  3. Super-human: performs better than most humans.
  4. Sub-human: performs worse than most humans.

For example, performance at draughts is optimal,<ref name="Game AI"/> performance at chess is super-human and nearing strong super-human (see computer chess: computers versus human) and performance at many everyday tasks (such as recognizing a face or crossing a room without bumping into something) is sub-human.

A quite different approach measures machine intelligence through tests which are developed from mathematical definitions of intelligence. Examples of these kinds of tests start in the late nineties devising intelligence tests using notions from Kolmogorov complexity and data compression.<ref name="Mathematical definitions of intelligence"/> Two major advantages of mathematical definitions are their applicability to nonhuman intelligences and their absence of a requirement for human testers.


File:Automated online assistant.png
An automated online assistant providing customer service on a web page – one of many very primitive applications of artificial intelligence.

Template:Expand section Template:Main

Artificial intelligence techniques are pervasive and are too numerous to list. Frequently, when a technique reaches mainstream use, it is no longer considered artificial intelligence; this phenomenon is described as the AI effect.<ref> Template:Cite news </ref>

Competitions and prizes

Template:Main There are a number of competitions and prizes to promote research in artificial intelligence. The main areas promoted are: general machine intelligence, conversational behavior, data-mining, driverless cars, robot soccer and games.


A platform (or "computing platform") is defined as "some sort of hardware architecture or software framework (including application frameworks), that allows software to run." As Rodney Brooks<ref>Brooks, R.A., "How to build complete creatures rather than isolated cognitive simulators," in K. VanLehn (ed.), Architectures for Intelligence, pp. 225–239, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale, NJ, 1991.</ref> pointed out many years ago, it is not just the artificial intelligence software that defines the AI features of the platform, but rather the actual platform itself that affects the AI that results, i.e., there needs to be work in AI problems on real-world platforms rather than in isolation.

A wide variety of platforms has allowed different aspects of AI to develop, ranging from expert systems, albeit PC-based but still an entire real-world system, to various robot platforms such as the widely available Roomba with open interface.<ref>Hacking Roomba » Search Results » atmel</ref>



Artificial intelligence, by claiming to be able to recreate the capabilities of the human mind, is both a challenge and an inspiration for philosophy. Are there limits to how intelligent machines can be? Is there an essential difference between human intelligence and artificial intelligence? Can a machine have a mind and consciousness? A few of the most influential answers to these questions are given below.<ref name="Philosophy of AI"/>

Turing's "polite convention": We need not decide if a machine can "think"; we need only decide if a machine can act as intelligently as a human being. This approach to the philosophical problems associated with artificial intelligence forms the basis of the Turing test.<ref name="Turing test"/>

The Dartmouth proposal: "Every aspect of learning or any other feature of intelligence can be so precisely described that a machine can be made to simulate it." This conjecture was printed in the proposal for the Dartmouth Conference of 1956, and represents the position of most working AI researchers.<ref name="Dartmouth proposal"/>

Newell and Simon's physical symbol system hypothesis: "A physical symbol system has the necessary and sufficient means of general intelligent action." Newell and Simon argue that intelligences consist of formal operations on symbols.<ref name="Physical symbol system hypothesis"/> Hubert Dreyfus argued that, on the contrary, human expertise depends on unconscious instinct rather than conscious symbol manipulation and on having a "feel" for the situation rather than explicit symbolic knowledge. (See Dreyfus' critique of AI.)<ref> Dreyfus criticized the necessary condition of the physical symbol system hypothesis, which he called the "psychological assumption": "The mind can be viewed as a device operating on bits of information according to formal rules". Template:Harv</ref><ref name="Dreyfus' critique"/>

Gödel's incompleteness theorem: A formal system (such as a computer program) cannot prove all true statements.<ref>This is a paraphrase of the relevant implication of Gödel's theorems.</ref> Roger Penrose is among those who claim that Gödel's theorem limits what machines can do. (See The Emperor's New Mind.)<ref name="The mathematical objection"/>

Searle's strong AI hypothesis: "The appropriately programmed computer with the right inputs and outputs would thereby have a mind in exactly the same sense human beings have minds."<ref name="Searle's strong AI"/> John Searle counters this assertion with his Chinese room argument, which asks us to look inside the computer and try to find where the "mind" might be.<ref name="Chinese room"/>

The artificial brain argument: The brain can be simulated. Hans Moravec, Ray Kurzweil and others have argued that it is technologically feasible to copy the brain directly into hardware and software, and that such a simulation will be essentially identical to the original.<ref name="Brain simulation"/>

Predictions and ethics


Artificial Intelligence is a common topic in both science fiction and projections about the future of technology and society. The existence of an artificial intelligence that rivals human intelligence raises difficult ethical issues, and the potential power of the technology inspires both hopes and fears.

In fiction, Artificial Intelligence has appeared fulfilling many roles, including a servant (R2D2 in Star Wars), a law enforcer (K.I.T.T. "Knight Rider"), a comrade (Lt. Commander Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation), a conqueror/overlord (The Matrix, Omnius), a dictator (With Folded Hands), a benevolent provider/de facto ruler (The Culture), an assassin (Terminator), a sentient race (Battlestar Galactica/Transformers/Mass Effect), an extension to human abilities (Ghost in the Shell) and the savior of the human race (R. Daneel Olivaw in Isaac Asimov's Robot series).

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein considers a key issue in the ethics of artificial intelligence: if a machine can be created that has intelligence, could it also feel? If it can feel, does it have the same rights as a human? The idea also appears in modern science fiction, including the films I Robot, Blade Runner and A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, in which humanoid machines have the ability to feel human emotions. This issue, now known as "robot rights", is currently being considered by, for example, California's Institute for the Future, although many critics believe that the discussion is premature.<ref name="Robot rights"/> The subject is profoundly discussed in the 2010 documentary film Plug & Pray.<ref>Independent documentary Plug & Pray, featuring Joseph Weizenbaum and Raymond Kurzweil</ref>

Martin Ford, author of The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future,<ref name="Ford2009Lights">Template:Ford 2009 The lights in the tunnel</ref> and others argue that specialized artificial intelligence applications, robotics and other forms of automation will ultimately result in significant unemployment as machines begin to match and exceed the capability of workers to perform most routine and repetitive jobs. Ford predicts that many knowledge-based occupations—and in particular entry level jobs—will be increasingly susceptible to automation via expert systems, machine learning<ref>"Machine Learning: A Job Killer?"</ref> and other AI-enhanced applications. AI-based applications may also be used to amplify the capabilities of low-wage offshore workers, making it more feasible to outsource knowledge work.<ref name="Replaced by machines"/>

Joseph Weizenbaum wrote that AI applications can not, by definition, successfully simulate genuine human empathy and that the use of AI technology in fields such as customer service or psychotherapy<ref>In the early 70s, Kenneth Colby presented a version of Weizenbaum's ELIZA known as DOCTOR which he promoted as a serious therapeutic tool. Template:Harv</ref> was deeply misguided. Weizenbaum was also bothered that AI researchers (and some philosophers) were willing to view the human mind as nothing more than a computer program (a position now known as computationalism). To Weizenbaum these points suggest that AI research devalues human life.<ref name="Weizenbaum's critique"/>

Many futurists believe that artificial intelligence will ultimately transcend the limits of progress. Ray Kurzweil has used Moore's law (which describes the relentless exponential improvement in digital technology) to calculate that desktop computers will have the same processing power as human brains by the year 2029. He also predicts that by 2045 artificial intelligence will reach a point where it is able to improve itself at a rate that far exceeds anything conceivable in the past, a scenario that science fiction writer Vernor Vinge named the "singularity".<ref name=Singularity/>

Robot designer Hans Moravec, cyberneticist Kevin Warwick and inventor Ray Kurzweil have predicted that humans and machines will merge in the future into cyborgs that are more capable and powerful than either.<ref name="Transhumanism"/> This idea, called transhumanism, which has roots in Aldous Huxley and Robert Ettinger, has been illustrated in fiction as well, for example in the manga Ghost in the Shell and the science-fiction series Dune.

Political scientist Charles T. Rubin believes that AI can be neither designed nor guaranteed to be friendly.<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref> He argues that "any sufficiently advanced benevolence may be indistinguishable from malevolence." Humans should not assume machines or robots would treat us favorably, because there is no a priori reason to believe that they would be sympathetic to our system of morality, which has evolved along with our particular biology (which AIs would not share).

Edward Fredkin argues that "artificial intelligence is the next stage in evolution", an idea first proposed by Samuel Butler's "Darwin among the Machines" (1863), and expanded upon by George Dyson in his book of the same name in 1998.<ref name="AI as evolution"/>

See also







AI textbooks



History of AI


Template:Refend Nilsson, Nils (2010), The Quest for Artificial Intelligence: A History of Ideas and Achievements, New York: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-12293-1

Other sources


Further reading

  • TechCast Article Series, John Sagi, Framing Consciousness
  • Boden, Margaret, Mind As Machine, Oxford University Press, 2006
  • Johnston, John (2008) "The Allure of Machinic Life: Cybernetics, Artificial Life, and the New AI", MIT Press
  • Myers, Courtney Boyd ed. (2009). The AI Report. Forbes June 2009
  • Template:Cite journal
  • Sun, R. & Bookman, L. (eds.), Computational Architectures: Integrating Neural and Symbolic Processes. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Needham, MA. 1994.

External links

Template:Sister project links

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