Friday, 29 September 2017

Introduction to Artificial Intelligence - AI

Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

You need to have basic knowledge of AI. You don't have to be a Tech Pro like me to understand the principles of AI. So, in this article we would examine just the basics, no technical jargon. I would try to be very clear and simple.

We would look at the following:


1. What is Artificial Intelligence?
Artificial Intelligence is a field of study that researches how to make machines exhibit human intelligence. There may be other definitions but the key idea is  the focus on developing system that could think and make decisions based on their environments, mimicking the actions similar to humans.

2. Application Areas of AI
We would examine the 5 key  application areas of Artificial Intelligence although these may vary in some texts.


Natural Language Processing(NLP): This is an area of AI that studies how to enable machines understand and respond to human language. One aspect of NLP is Voice Recognition. The allows you to speak to an application, then the application understands and gives a response to your query. This may be to search for a term online or to perform certain actions. Examples of this is the Siri in Apple IPhone and IPad or the Cortana in Windows 10. We also have the voice search feature in Google.

Expert Systems: This is area of AI that researches on how to make machines exhibit the traits of a human expert. When a machine could perform a surgical procedure that is normally done by a physician, or when a system could track whether changes and make forecast, which is normally done by geographers etc. Such systems/machines are called expert system. For expert systems to work, it must have a knowledge-base which is normally fed into the systems memory.

Robotics: This researches on development of humanoids and other systems that could mimic human behavior and sometime have human appearance and features.

Neural Networks: This has to do with systems that could 'see' and recognize patterns. Used in area of bio-metrics. Examples are facial recognition systems, pattern matching. Others are handwriting recognition and fingerprint matching

Fuzzy Logic Systems: This are systems that performs regulatory functions and adjust parameters accordingly. An example is a system that monitors temperature in rooms in an apartment and adjusts the air conditioners. Another example is the autopilot in aircraft that monitors speed, altitude pressure and other parameters and keep the within acceptable threshold. 


3. Future of Artificial Intelligence
Would it be possible to build a system that could compete with or supersede humans in intelligence? The answer is no! The reason is that human nature and behavior is so complex that scientists have not fully understood all aspects of it especially when it comes to emotional attributes and relation with other humans. So how could scientists build something they don't even understand in the first place? That is the point. So how far could AI go? To answer this question, I would recommend you get the movie called 'Person of Interest' produced by Jonathan Nolan. After watching it, you could see how far AI can go. Another height AI could reach is the aspect of Internet of Things(IOT). This would allow machines to fix themselves and  to interact with each other with little human interaction.

4. Science Fiction Versus Realities
In movies, we see a number  of fictitious actions and stories, but the fact is that some of what we see is actually reality. 


Consider the following:
  • Cars can drive themselves (reality)
  • Humans can teleport to another location (fiction) 
  • A football team of robots to compete with humans (fiction)
  • A robot that can perform a surgery with little human intervention(reality)
I can't give an exhaustive list here, but I'll try to list as much as I can, say in another, article.

5. Final Notes.
Scientist in the area of Artificial Intelligence (including me) have a done much in and still have much to do. For every other person, we need to have the basic knowledge of how systems work, ranging from your computer to your phone, your automobile and so on. Here in my blog I would continue to explain technical concepts in simple terms so that everyone could understand.

I would like to thank you for reading and if you have any question, you can leave it in the comment box below.