What is artificial intelligence? Characteristics, Applications and Importance of A.I.

What is artificial intelligence? Characteristics, Applications and Importance of A.I

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the study of what intelligence is and the process of creating systems that are more useful and smart.

AI is an interdisciplinary field which includes psychology, philosophy, linguistic, electrical engineering and computing science. Other engineering disciplines are also actively involved in some of the branches of AI. For example, mechanical engineering plays an important role in the design of robots.

Al researchers in psychology, philosophy and linguistics are collectively referred to as information processing psychologists or cognitive scientists. The cognitive scientists are interested in understanding what intelligence is, how it is acquired and used. Their central activity involves the modelling of human information processing. The computing science, electrical engineering and other related engineering fields are more interested in building computing systems that perform at high levels of behaviours – building machines that are more useful and smart.

Definitions of AI

According to Patterson, “AI is a branch of computer science that deals with the study and the creation of computer systems that exhibit some form of intelligence.”

‘By intelligence’ we mean:

  1. Systems that learn new concepts and tasks,
  2. Artificial Intelligence
  3. Systems that can understand a natural language and comprehend a visual scene,
  4. Systems that can reason and draw conclusions about the world around us and useful
  5. Systems that perform other types of feats that require human types of intelligence.

Characteristics of Artificial Intelligence

The ideal characteristic of artificial intelligence its ability to rationalize and take actions that have the best chance of achieving a specific goal. However the term artificial intelligence can be applied to any machine that exhibits traits associated with a human mind, such as learning and solving problems. Following are the characteristics of artificial intelligence:

  1. Symbolic Processing
  2. Non-algorithmic Processing
  3. Reasoning
  4. Perception
  5. Communication
  6. Ability to Learn
  7. Imprecise knowledge
  8. Planning
  9. Fast decision making

1. Symbolic Processing:

In AI applications, computers process symbols rather than numbers or letters. AI applications process strings of characters that represent real-world entities or concepts. Symbols can be arranged in structures such as lists, hierarchies, or networks. These structures show how symbols relate to each other.

2. Non-algorithmic Processing

Computer programs outside the AI domain are programmed algorithms; that is, fully specified step-by step procedures that define a solution to the problem. The actions of a knowledge-based AI system depend to a far greater degree on the situation where it is used.

3. Reasoning

Reasoning is the ability to solve problems through logical deduction. The tern artificial intelligence applies to a machine that can reason. It involves solving problems through logical deduction or induction.

4. Perception

Perception is the ability to deduce things about the world from visual images, sounds and other sensory inputs. It involves deducing things about the world from visual images, sounds and other sensory inputs.

5. Communication

Communication is the ability to understand written and spoken language. It involves the ability to communicate in human language, understanding people’s intentions
and emotions through natural language processing techniques.

6. Ability to Learn

Al programs have an ability to learn. Conventional systems have not achieved that level till now.

7. Imprecise knowledge

An AI program needs an imprecise or general knowledge whereas a conventional program needs a precise or specific knowledge.

8. Planning

Planning is the ability to set and achieve goals. It involves setting and achieving goals through sequences of actions. Sequences of actions can be undertaken that will affect progress towards achieving the goals.

9. Fast decision making

Al has a powerful role to play in making real-world decisions. Even many of the most innovative organizations in the world such as Facebook, Google and Amazon rely on AI algorithms as part of their decision making process. AI is capable of handling many different factors at once when making complex decisions, can

process much more data at once, and use probability to suggest or implement the best possible decision.

Application areas of A.I

Every branch of science, engineering and technology shares the tools and techniques available in the domain of artificial intelligence. Application areas of AI are classified as:

  1. Expert Systems
  2. Natural Language Programs (NLP)
  3. Speech Recognition Wadhwa’s Selected Questions & Answers
  4. Industrial Automation and Manufacturing
  5. Robotics
  6. Game Playing
  7. Image Understanding and Computer Vision
  8. Machine Learning

1. Expert Systems:

An expert system is a software package that accumulates the knowledge and decision making capabilities of the specialists in a particular field. An expert system is a set of programs that manipulate encoded knowledge to solve problems in a specialized domain that normally requires human expertise. Expert systems are automatic systems. They respond as an intelligent assistant by giving advice and suggesting possible decisions. Expert systems have been built that can diagnose faults in military systems like aircrafts, radars etc., taxonomically classify members of a particular species, advice on possible chemical structures,
diagnose diseases etc.

It is also known as Knowledge Based System. It uses a knowledge base for its artificial intelligence. It also uses the decision rules of human specialists to arrive at certain conclusions and to give recommendations. The primary goal of expert systems research is to make expertise available to decision makers and technicians Who need answers quickly. These knowledge-based applications of artificial intelligence have enhanced
productivity in business, science, engineering and the military. The first and firm application of AI was the design and development of the expert system named MYCIN at Stanford University in the mid 1970s.

2. Natural Language Programs (NLP)

One of the long standing goals of artificial intelligence is the creation of programs that are understanding and generating human language.

To instruct a computer to do a certain task, we have to use one or the other programming language to enable us to communicate with the computer. Learning the syntax and rules of the programming language is required. This is required for every new language to be mastered. If we could instruct the computer in our own language, it would be very very convenient. And this is the Natural Language Programming (NLP). Such software allows users to instruct the computer for performing any task through plain English, French, Spanish or any other

natural language instructions.

A Natural Language Program interprets the parts of speech, the meaning of a sentence and then converts the sentence/commands in the computer’s own language that it can understand and process. Such program transforms

sentences occurring as part of a dialog into data structures which convey the intended meaning of the sentences.

3. Speech Recognition:

Speech recognition provides a means by which speech is broken down into the individual word tokens. Discrete speech recognition is used widely today, presenting a minor inconvenience to the user.

4. Industrial Automation and Manufacturing:

Industrial Automation is concerned with introduction, incorporation and intervention of automation, starting from raw material handling, planning and production of items and their assembly leading to higher capable equipment and their inventory. Automation means less human interference, more computing with knowledge

enriched environment. Flexible manufacturing system has emerged to tie up with AI for industrial automation in most of the leading and pioneering industries in the world.

5. Robotics:

Robotics is one of the prime areas of AI applications. AI methodology is applicable to robotics in two ways: One is design and control of robot and the other is application of robots to various fields such as manufacturing, mining, medicine (surgery). Thus, robotics is a field of Al which enhances the ability to move and act in the world, possibly responding to new perceptions.

The application of robotic system is highly useful in places where human movement is restricted as in nuclear plant or mines. Robotic systems work intelligently in such places and atmosphere where hazards prevail for humans with high probability.

6. Game Playing:

Game playing is one of the oldest areas of attempt in artificial intelligence. A chess-playing computer is a proof of a machine doing something using intelligence. Also, the simplicity of the rules and their application in the program implies that it is easy to represent the game. as a search through a space of possible game positions.

Thus, game playing is one of the leading domains where Al has been applied with great success.

7. Machine Learning

Machine learning is subfield of artificial intelligence that is concerned with the design and development of algorithms and techniques that allow computers to learn’. The major focus of machine learning research is to extract information from data automatically, by computational and statistical methods.

Importance of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI is one of the important developments of world. It will surely affect the lives of human in the coming days. It is important in the development of computer products, robotics and related fields. In fact, AI is growing in importance everyday. The field of AI is sure to bring in vast opportunities. The importance of AI can be estimated from the following viewpoints:

  1. Major companies are investing big in AI
  2. Rapid Advancement
  3. Vast opportunities
  4. Smarter Software
  5. Robotics is developing rapidly
  6. AI is essential to overcome information Challenges

1. Major companies are investing big in AI

The large hi-tech companies like IBM, Google, Microsoft, Ebay, Yahoo have multiple active developments underway. They seem to be in a race to acquire systems and so hire inventors and creative minds. DARPA has also been funding the development of ALV (Autonomous Land Vehicle) which is a driverless military vehicle and the development of an expert system to assist pilots.

2. Rapid Advancement

As the costs of hardware are falling rapidly, AI is becoming a leading choice. High speed Graphical Processing Units (GPU’s) can recognize about 88% of the words spoken in normal, human, English language conversation. With such trends, hardware costs will no longer be a barrier to let Al industry accelerate.

3. Vast opportunities

Al offers vast opportunity space. In future AI will power vision systems that would drive your car, a vacuum cleaner that will recognize the furniture and dirt on it and an autonomous lawnmower that will mow the lawn without disturbing the flowers. Just count on a future when Al will be used as a utility and in everyday objects

4. Smarter Software

Al will increasingly be made a part of other software programs. Al enabled software will serve as virtual assistants, providing hints and previews of processes and help speed up and maximize tasks.

5. Robotics is developing rapidly

Now advanced robots are gaining enhanced senses, skills and intelligence. It is all credited to AI, machine to machine communication and sensors etc. Industrial robots are already there to take up difficult and dangerous tasks such as welding, spray painting etc.

6. AI is essential to overcome information challenges

The information growth is becoming so challenging and speedy that human need intelligence aided computer systems for data exploration. In today’s world where information is exploding at an exponential rate, human expertise becomes limited in certain domains.