Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Artificial Intelligence

I'm starting a studies on A.I. in September at the Free University in Amsterdam. It's a bit closer to Computer Science than other universities are offering.

It's interesting how I'm now picking up news articles on the topic and how things are changing around the very definition of what A.I. really is. Initially, the idea was that intelligent machines should eventually think like human beings and be just as versatile, flexible, inflexible and emotional and detached as humans can be.

It seems that the general definition of A.I. is changing in such a way that it's more a definition of very intelligently applying science to real-world problems that we can solve intelligently, but perhaps not optimally.

Thus, A.I. is not a simulation or replication of the entire scala of processes in the human brain, it's a specific simulation or replication of a specific problem that our brain can resolve.

As I have stated before in one of the blog posts on communication with machines, I think A.I. is about getting closer to the real cognitive processes that are occurring instead of replacing our tactile activities. Thus, A.I. is also a specific kind of Information Technology. It's about finding out how we resolve very difficult problems, the input to those problem resolution processes, applying science over increasing the efficiency and accuracy of the resolution of the problem and then deploying out so that it can be used by the user.

There are however some other specific branches. One branch comes closer to knowledge management (that is basically the problem of digging out the right information at the time when it's most needed). Another is about creating user interfaces and human interaction in different ways (more like emotional intelligence and empathy). Others are more about information processing on very large amounts of information.

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