CIS 5603. Artificial Intelligence

Overview of Artificial Intelligence

1. Origin

In the 1940s, various computers were invented, initially for numerical calculation, though they were also used in non-numerical computation or symbol manipulation, as anticipated in theoretical models like Turing machine.

Several visionaries had noticed the important similarities between the human brain/mind and the machine:

AI as a research field started in 1956 at the Dartmouth meeting, and was strongly influenced by John McCarthy, Marvin Minsky, Allen Newell, Herbert A. Simon.

2. The big picture

The general goal of AI is to build computer systems that work like the human mind. Consequently, AI can be considered both as a branch of science (related to cognitive science) and a branch of engineering (related to computer engineering and software engineering). An AI project often has results on three levels:
  1. a theory (described in a human language)
  2. a model (specified in a symbolic/mathematical language)
  3. an implementation (realized in a programming language or a piece of hardware)
Basic questions about the whole field:
  1. What is AI?
  2. Can AI be built?
  3. How to build AI?
  4. Should AI be built?
There are still different opinions on each of them.

3. Working definitions

In which aspect an AI is similar to a human mind? The answers can be clustered into the following groups: These approaches are related, though correspond to different levels of abstraction of human intelligence. See a detailed analysis and the following discussion.

4. The agent framework

A widespread approach takes intelligence as a set of cognitive functions integrated in an intelligent agent framework, consisting of In recent years, deep learning has achieved great successes. However, it still cannot replace other AI techniques.