What is Artificial Intelligence ?

The term AI was invented by McCarthy in 1956, and refers to the behaviour that seems complex and would be regarded as intelligent. The most well known test of intelligence is the so called Turing test which was named after Alan Turing and it is a subjective test that relies on the idea that if you can fool a person into thinking you are another person then you have passed the test.

The turing test takes place on 2 terminals and you type a message and read the reply on screen, and then try and determine if the other participant was a human or a machine. There are many attempts to pass the Turing test, and one of the first attempts was calld Eliza. It simulated a psychiatrist.

Men are all alike.

IN WHAT WAY

They’re always bugging us about something or other.

CAN YOU THINK OF A SPECIFIC EXAMPLE

Well, my boyfriend made me come here.

YOU BOYFRIEND MADE YOU COME HERE

He says I’m depressed much of the time.

I AM SORRY TO HEAR YOU ARE DEPRESSED

It’s true. I am unhappy.

DO YOU THINK COMING HERE WILL HELP YOU NOT TO BE UNHAPPY

I need some help, that much seems certain.

WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO YOU IF YOU GOT SOME HELP

Perhaps I could learn to get along with my mother.

TELL ME MORE ABOUT YOUR FAMILY

My mother takes care of me.

WHO ELSE IN YOU FAMILY TAKES CARE OF YOU

My Father.

YOUR FATHER

You are like my father in some ways.

WHAT RESEMBLANCE DO YOU SEE

You are not very aggressive but I think you don’t want me to notice that.

WHAT MAKES YOU THINK I AM NOT VERY AGGRESSIVE

You don’t argue with me.

WHY DO YOU THINK I DON’T ARGUE WITH YOU

You are afraid of me.

DOES IT PLEASE YOU TO BELIEVE I AM AFRAID OF YOU

My father is afraid of everybody.

WHAT ELSE COMES TO MIND WHEN YOU THINK OF YOUR FATHER

Bullies.

DOES THAT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE FACT THAT YOUR BOYFRIEND MADE YOU COME HERE

This looks pretty reasonable however, it is designed to use keywords, such as Mother, Father and then refer to family, but it has no understanding of context and so can easily be led astray and comes back non-sensical or inappropriate responses.

There has never been a program that has passed the Turing test but some of the other things that people used to think would require an intelligent computer to solve have been done. Chess was regarded in this manner but ever since Deep Blue beat the reigning Grand Master at chess, then it has been regarded as solved, and even more impressive is the game of Go. This has a lot more moves than chesss and Alpha Go managed to teach itself how to play by viewing a series of games. Ironically a lot of things that even the most stupid person can do, are still far beyond the scope of the best computer programs, for example what is in a photograph, or why is The Phantom Menace such a terrible film.

The term AI ia overused and many companies use it as a buzzword rather than implementing something that is actually smart. There are 4 approaches to AI.

  1. Strong AIwhich tries to build machines than can reason and have knowledge of the real world. This approach was popular during the optimism of 50’s and 60’s but turned out to be far harder than was expected. 2, Weak AI which are not designed to actually reason but merely to act as though they are intelligent.
  2. Applied AIis AI with a specific purpose in mind, for example a door lock than opens when it recognises your face.
  3. Cognitive AIare designed to simulate experiments on how the mind works.

History of Artificial Intelligence

  • Aristotle (384-322 BC) developed a systen of logic which was the first formal basis for deductive reasoning.
  • Pascal (1642) made the first mechanical calculating machine.
  • George Boole (19th century) developed boolean alegbra to express rules.
  • Charles Babbage + Ada Byron (19th century) worked on the first programmable machines.
  • Alan Turing (1950) wrote a paper detailing of computer AI.
  • Marvin Minsky (1951) developed the first neural networks.
  • MYCIN (1974) which was the first expert system and used in the medical field.

Successes of AI

  1. Deep Blue, the computer by IBM that beat Gary Kasparov at chess in 1997.
  2. Machine translation, systems such as Google translate which can translate text between multiple languages.
  3. Autonomous agents, NASA’s Mars rovers explored Mars for months at a time.