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How Artificial Intelligence Works


To understand how artificial intelligence works, we best look at human intelligence operations.

Human intelligence involves two forms of reasoning:

  1. mundane
  2. expert

Mundane Reasoning

Mundane reasoning refers to all those things which most humans can routinely do in order to act and interact in the world. This includes such things as:

  • Vision - the ability to make sense of what we see.
  • Natural Language - The ability to communicate with others in English or another natural language.
  • Planning - The ability to decide on a good sequence of actions to achieve your goals.
  • Robotics - The ability to move and act in the world, possibly responding to new perceptions.

Expert Reasoning

Expert reasoning refers to things that only some people are good at, and which require extensive training. The most value lies in automating these task, for which there may be a shortage of human experts. Expert reasoning includes:

  1. Medical diagnosis
  2. Equipment repair
  3. Computer configuration
  4. Financial planning

Expert Systems are concerned with the automation of these sorts of tasks.

AI research is concerned with automating both these kinds of reasoning. It turns out, however, that it is the mundane tasks that are by far the hardest to automate.

AI research is concerned with automating both these kinds of reasoning. It turns out, however, that it is the mundane tasks that are by far the hardest to automate.

There are various techniques that have evolved that can be applied to a variety of AI tasks - involving knowledge representation and search.

AI computers use knowledge concepts and methods of symbolic inference, or reasoning. Whilst this may be applid to many cognitive skills to solve problems, learn, and understand language, to date, AI has mostly been used in the area of problem solving. This involves use of concepts and methods for building programs that reason about problems rather than calculate a solution.

NEXT: AI Techniques

 

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