CIS 5603. Artificial Intelligence

Summary of AI

In this last lecture, we return to the overall picture of the field of AI and revisit the four basic questions raised in the first lecture.

1. What to build

All inspirations of AI comes from Human Intelligence (HI), though it is impossible for the two to be identical in all aspects. Instead, the two can only become comparable after abstractions.

In general, different abstractions produce different visions. Various levels of abstractions of HI (Structure, Behavior, Capability, Function, Principle) define different AIs, which have different objectives and consequences. They cannot replace each other.

2. The possibility of AI

First, the answer to this question surely depends on how "intelligence" is defined or understood. According to different understandings, AI can be "already achieved", "seems impossible", or "still hard to say".

Furthermore, "the current limitation of a specific AI technique", "the fundamental limitation of a specific AI technique", and "the fundamental limitation of AI" are not the same thing.

Finally, intelligence is widely taken as a matter of degree. Every objective of AI can be approached gradually. Therefore, even if the ultimate aim cannot be achieved, the research can still be fruitful.

3. How to get a complete intelligence

The past lectures are mostly about how to achieve each cognitive functions separately. To get them altogether, there are the following possible strategies: The choice of strategy depends on the choice of objective.

4. Social impacts and ethical issues

The ethics and social impacts of AI have been concerns from the very beginning of this research. With the remarkable progress of deep learning in the recent years, this topic once again gets the attention of the public. Beside the issues shared with other techniques, AI has special issues of its own, such as "autonomy" and "superiority".

One trouble in the related discussions is the confusion of different senses of "AI", which have very different situations on this matter.

Specific topics:

All of these issues demand long-term study and exploration. Like all other decisions, people's choices are based on the assessment of benefits and risks.