The Applications of Artificial Intelligence

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The Applications of Artificial Intelligence


Artificial intelligence (AI) is a branch of computer science that studies the computational requirements for tasks such as perception, reasoning, and learning, and develops systems to perform those tasks. AI is a diverse field whose researchers address a wide range of problems, use a variety of methods, and pursue a spectrum of scientific goals. For example, some researchers study the requirements for expert performance at specialized tasks, while others model commonsense processes; some researchers explain behaviors in terms of low-level processes, using models inspired by the computation of the brain, while others explain them in terms of higher-level psychological constructs such as plans and goals. Some researchers aim to advance understanding of human cognition, some to understand the requirements for intelligence in general (whether in humans or machines), and some to develop artifacts such as intelligent devices, autonomous agents, and systems that cooperate with people to amplify human abilities.

AI is a young field--even its name, ``artificial intelligence,'' was only coined in 1956. One of the challenges for AI has been to determine which tasks to study--what constitutes an ``AI question''--and how to evaluate progress. Much early AI research focused on tasks commonly thought to require high intelligence in people, such as playing high-quality chess. Skeptics viewed this as an impossible assignment, but AI made rapid progress. By the 1960's, programs were capable of tournament play. In 1997, in a landmark match, the chess system Deep Blue defeated Gary Kasparov, the world's human chess champion for the previous twelve years. At the same time, however, AI...

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