Artificial intelligence is a branch of engineering and computer science that deals with developing of programs that allows computer and other related machines to perform functions and do activities that requires the use of intelligence that is mainly associated with human beings (Brooks, 2008, p 125). In this field, machines are made to behave intelligently when they are feed with appropriate computer programs. This way, the computer or the computerized machine is able to perform tasks that are related to those done by human beings. The ability of a computer or machine to make decision is one of the major things that are critical in this field. Through use of sensors, the machine is able to detect the kind of conditions that surrounds it and using those conditions it makes necessary decisions that fits that kind of environment. As a result of making of these decisions, the machine is seen to have intelligence of its own just like human beings. This essay seeks to explain the branches of artificial intelligence, the process involved in developing of artificial intelligent computers and machines and their major contribution.
The common thing in the branches of artificial intelligence is that all of them have the aspect of gathering information and then using that information to make decisions. New branches are being developed all of them with the objective of integrating computer knowledge and making of decisions in fields that involved use of human knowledge. The major branches of AI are genetic programming, heuristics, ontology, epistemology, planning, learning from experience, common sense knowledge, inference, representation, pattern recognition, search and logical AI (Tooby & Cosmides, 2010).
Genetic programming involves use of methodology that is based on algorithm that have been stimulated by biological evolution to look for computerized programs in order to do tasks that have been defined by the user. Heuristic is a means through which one tries to discover an idea or something that is within a program. In this case, heuristic functions make use of functions called nodes. Using these nodes, heuristic function measures how far they are from the goal. Ontology is the study of existence. It is one of the branches of metaphysics which deals with the nature of beings. It is a branch that has makes use of the already proved theories of existence and integrates them in order to make further decisions. Planning is a branch that deals with putting together a number of facts in order to achieve a given goal. In this case, the facts that results to the effect of an actions are put together in order to come up with a strategy that helps in achieving the goal. The strategy is involves a number of actions that determines how a given situation ends up. Learning from experience is closely related to planning. In this case, the developed program is able to record connections between various components that it is specialized in. Out of this it develops the ability to recall the sequence of events that needs to be taken to achieve a certain goal. Leaning laws may also be expressed by use of logics where the program that has the basic cases is stored in a way that is going to trigger an action when it is required to. The branch of common sense knowledge and reasoning deals with coming up with systems that have non-monotonic reasoning through the use of action theories. A good example in this case is the Cyc system which has a large collection of facts of common sense.
A way to deal with negative surrounding is one of the key components in the design of an AI system. To cope up with any kind of interference, all the possible causes of such interferences must be known at the design of such a system. The system then uses either mathematical deduction or non-monotonic inference to counter this logic. In AI, representation deals with presenting of facts in a way that a computer can understand. Use of mathematical logic is the most common way that is used in this case. Pattern recognition is use of computer program in order to compare different scenarios. While simple patterns require use of simple methods for recognizing the pattern, complex pattern makes use of different and complex methods. Search in AI is use of computer program in order to examine large number of possibilities. It is a branch that is making use of new discoveries in order to make search more efficient and fast. Logical artificial intelligence is the use of computer program in order to generate the general fact on a certain situation that the system needs to act on. To achieve this, a set of algorithm are developed that helps the program to make decisions depending on the kind of requirements that are required in making the decision.
There is a very significant relationship between artificial intelligence and programming. In order to translate variables in real life situation into a way that the computer is able to understand, programming is used. Logic programming such as Prolog is one of the most useful programming languages used in order to develop artificial intelligence. Where theories are involved, their collections are fed in the computer system in form of Horn clauses. Using this, the act of finding the valuable values that are able to satisfy the expressions can be found using these clauses. However, there are two major hindrances that of artificial intelligence in logic programming. First, the theories do not always fully describe the logic and therefore the kind of results got in this case will a times deviate from the accurate one. Secondly, Prolog program which are used to express the theories may be in most cases be extremely insufficient. They require more elaborative control when the program is being executed in contrast to when the program is discussed theoretically. Mathematical logics are therefore significant in enhancing creation effecting logical programming. Some of the most used programming languages in this field are Java, C, C++, Lisp and Prolog.
Today, there artificial intelligence research is done both experimentally and theoretically (Brooks, 2008). The part that relates to experiment mostly deals with applied and basic aspects. Most of the facts of human beings that can be simulated using artificial intelligence are related to biological and formalizing of facts of common sense through studying. As a result, AI is mainly concerned with these two lines of research. The biological aspect is based on the fact that since the human beings are intelligent, then AI can be able to imitate the physiological or psychological aspect. The aspect of formalizing the common sense facts is based on the study of problems that are associated with a given environment and the obvious solutions that are associated with these environments.
Artificial Intelligence is very closely related to philosophy in the sense that both though at different levels deals with the study of common sense and mind. However, in the recent researches, there has been effort to integrate artificial intelligence and philosophy to come up with a field called the field of artificial intelligence. In this field, avenues are being sort to find a way through which a machine can act in an intelligent manner so as to resolve any form of problem that requires human being to think in order to solve it. Ability of the machine to have mind, consciousness, mental status and feelings are some of the efforts that are being researched in this area. It is this division that makes the human intelligence more superior than that of any machine. The brain of human being is considered to be more superior to that of computer because it can do many functions which no computer program can simulate.
The field of artificial intelligence is directly related to the research. The basic reason that the field was developed was to optimize the result and reduce the errors that are made by human beings (Weisburg, 1986). Unlike human beings, machines can make accurate decisions over and over again without making errors. The ability of human beings to make good decisions is determined by many factors other than the environment. Human being gets tired and their ability to make good decisions reduces over time especially where many varying conditions are involved. However, artificial intelligence has never reached the level to which it can replicate the full level of human intelligence. What the field does is to get involved in replicate specialized sub problems like those of vision, natural language understanding or representation of knowledge. Other specialized artificial intelligent systems are plan verification and truth maintenance systems.
The representation of knowledge is one of the core instruments of artificial intelligence (Vinge, 2011). Most of the problems that the computer or machine is required to solve is based on the amount of knowledge surrounding the environment of the data. Some of the most critical data that need to be properly understood by the artificial intelligence machine includes categories, properties, objects, time, states, events, causes, effects and the kind of relationship that exists between these components. The format that this knowledge is represented is also very critical. The language that the computer or the machine understands may be different from the one that the way the human being views it. In this case, the significant facts that control or determine the kind of decisions that need to be made have to be put in a format that will make the machine behave in the way that it is expected. Additionally, where more than one conditions are going to be involved, then these conditions need to be put in a format that they interrelates properly without causing any confusion among the decision making components.
One of the advanced fields that are related to artificial intelligence is robotics. It is a field that deals with the design, development of structures that uses systems that are computerized in order to process information, control conditions and collect data and give feedback. Robots are distinguished from the rest of the artificial intelligent system in that they can manipulate objects and move from one position to another. The designs of these machines are also very advanced. Firm principles of instrumentation and control engineering are employed. Different sensors that are able to detect motion, movement and other related information are strategically positioned at various points of the robot to feed the machine with necessary information required for taking action. The information detected by the sensors is then converted to a computer language through the use of a transducer so that instructions, execution and decision making can be implemented. It is these data that determines the cause of action that the robot takes within the environment it is in. Among the major applications of artificial intelligence are heuristic classification, expert systems, computer vision, and understanding of the natural language, speech recognition and game playing.
Heuristic classification involves use of information from different sources that is differently categorized in order to make decision (Tooby Cosmides, 2010). For example, when a customer wants to purchase items from a supermarket using a VISA card, then the computer system has to do a number of verification in order to allow the transaction to succeed. It checks on whether the card is being carried by the owner through use of PIN, verifies that there is enough money in the account to make the required payment then deducts the money from the account once the payment have been made. The system also has the task of ensuring that the card is not fraud. In this case, the computerized system is able to verify a number of differently categorized decisions before allowing the transaction to be effected.
Tooby and Cosmides (2010, p. 18) explains that expert system makes use of knowledge engineering in order to perform specific tasks. In this case, the design engineer in charge of developing this system interviews the experts in certain field on how they perform a given task. He then uses transforms this knowledge into a computer program that will perform these tasks in a similar manner that the experts would have done. Among the earliest expert systems that have been developed is MYCIN that is used to diagnose the infection of bacterial in the blood stream of a human being and even suggest the king of treatment that needs to be undertaken. Once this system was developed, it was able to perform the tasks initially done by doctors in a better way as long its conditions were properly monitored.
Computer vision is presentation of three dimensional objects using a two dimension screen. All the real word objects are of three dimensions. However, the computer, TV and camera screens are of two dimensions. To ensure the representation of three dimensions objects in two dimensions screen, artificial intelligence programs presents the objects. Speech recognition and natural language understanding makes use of voice detection software to perform the required tasks. Speech recognition is used to instruct computers using speech which is a very effective means for physically handicapped persons. In airline industries, speech recognition system is used to input city names and flight numbers. Understanding of the natural language is an advanced level of speech recognition that combines word sequence, sentence parsing and the understanding of text domain.Computer games such as Chess use principals of artificial intelligence in order to determine the kind of move that needs to be done. The artificial intelligence programs in these systems masters the thousands of moves and positions at a very short period of time before deciding which move best suites the arrangement. Similar and related programs are used in other games such as football, vehicle racing among others.
In conclusion, artificial intelligence is a branch of computer science and engineering that enables creation of machines that are able to make decisions similar to those made by human beings. The main branches of artificial intelligence are genetic programming, heuristics, ontology, epistemology, planning, learning from experience, common sense knowledge, inference, representation, pattern recognition, search and logical AI. Various factors are considered and incorporated in the design of the artificial intelligence system, representing of various knowledge in a form that can be understood by the computer. The field of artificial intelligence is not fully developed to be independent. It is for this reason that it is closely related to other fields like philosophy and programming. The major challenges of AI are dealing with varying conditions of the environment and representing varying conditions in a format understood by computer. The major applications of artificial intelligence are heuristic classification, expert systems, computer vision, and understanding of the natural language, speech recognition and game playing.