Artificial Intelligence

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Artificial Intelligence1

Artificial Intelligence (AI) conjures up visions of robots that can mix dry martinis while beating a grand master at chess; and to some, will one day be able to look, act, think and react just like a real person. I would like to explore the concept of AI as it relates to the business world, and its possible many other applications. I believe that true AI is a dream worth pursuing. Like me, there are many who, just like those of the early 1960’s, thought that putting a man on the moon seemed to be an extremely difficult, but not an impossible task, believing the achievement of true AI to come is just a matter of time.

To remain competitive, companies must continue to improve by doing better and doing more; all the while using fewer and fewer resources, especially, manpower. Greater numbers of the world’s companies are turning to systems, which they feel offer the best means of attaining these goals.

A group, or suite of tools that can help accomplish this pursuit of doing less with more is generally known as Decision Support Systems. This broad category usually consists of computer software and hardware, which includes Intelligent Decision Support Systems, Expert Systems and Artificial Intelligence. Do these systems really provide a valuable contribution to those who use them, and just how much faith can be put into them?

Strategic decision making concerns itself with determining where and how to deploy present resources to gain competitive advantages with the expectation of achieving some future reward. This simple, but powerful idea, permeates the planning process of large and small companies. Decisions related to how resources should be deployed consider specific measures necessary to compete effectively and efficiently; while strategic decisions are made with the expectation of improving future corporate profitability. Decision support systems are important additions in developing long term strategic plans, and thus long range profitability measures.



Before we can explore the possibilities and implications of AI, we must carefully define exactly what attributes make something “intelligent”. The most common way to define intelligence in through the term “consciousness”. A term such as this has no fixed definition; rather, it is a family of related concepts that ti...

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