Artificial intelligence all around us
During the 1980s, there was a lot of interest in the field of Artificial Intelligence in the United States. The great expectations of the 1980s were followed by the skepticism of the 1990s, when the limitations of capabilities of our current computers were emphasized. The skepticism of the 1990s is largely over, and one of the major scientific and industrial challenges of the 21st century is the development of Artificial Intelligent Systems (AIS).
The development of AIS is aimed at creating new technologies that will provide solutions to problems in the areas of electronics and heavy industries, agriculture, energy and resource conservation, transportation, human health, public safety, homeland security, and other fields.
Speaking at a conference in Buenos Aires in 1995, Albert Arnold Gore, Jr. (Vice President of the United States from 1993 to 2001 under President Bill Clinton) commented: ‘These highways, or more accurately, distributed intelligence networks, will allow us to share information, connect and communicate as a global community. From these connections we will gain strong and sustainable economic progress, strong democracies, better solutions to global and local environmental challenges, better healthcare, and ultimately a greater sense of shared stewardship of our little planet.”
From a historical point of view, AIS appeared in the last century as a result of the evolution of man-machine systems, in which the functions of man and machine are interrelated for the operation of these systems. For example, a craftsman operating a running lathe, a driver and his running car, and the workers and machines in a power plant all form human-machine systems. In a man-machine system, the human operator provides the goal, direction, and integration. The machine executes everything according to the given instructions and provides feedback.
In the process of evolution of man-machine systems, the role of man has diminished in relation to the role of the machines he operates. To execute routine functions, machines have increasingly been equipped with control subsystems, and the resulting human-machine systems have been called “semi-automatic” systems. Little by little, many semi-automatic systems have been transformed into automatic systems.
Thanks to computer systems, there has been a fantastic change in many areas of technology during the last decades. The previous machines had the function of executing tasks entrusted to them by human beings. Today these machines are equipped with highly advanced programmable control systems and various types of sensory devices, enabling them to perform many human tasks, including creative problem solving. Meanwhile, engineers and scientists working on bionic technologies are getting closer to creating machines that can perform some human functions for people with disabilities. As a result, the preconditions for the birth of artificial intelligence appeared.
Ray Kurzweil, in his very interesting book The Singularity is Real, found an appropriate metaphor to describe the process of diffusion of computer systems. He commented: ‘Advancing computer performance is like water slowly flooding the landscape. Half a century ago, it began to flood the lowlands, driving out human calculators and recorders, but leaving most of us dry. Now the flood has reached the foothills, and our outposts are contemplating retreat. We feel safe at our peaks, but at the current rate, those too will dip within another half century.
It is also a fair statement regarding Artificial Intelligence (AI). In recent years, some AI programs and systems have successfully copied selected functions of the human brain and have extended human cognitive and decision-making abilities. As a result, some existing machines can now perform the functions based on the knowledge of a human operator, but with better quality. The inventor of the Lisp programming language, John McCarthy, who also coined the term “artificial intelligence” in his proposal for the 1956 Dartmouth Conference, defines AI as “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines.”
The term “intelligence” is derived from the Latin, “intellectus”, and is defined as “mind, powers of human thought”. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, “intelligence” has many meanings:
o the ability to learn or understand or deal with new or difficult situations: for example, the skillful use of reason o the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one’s environment or think abstractly as measured by objective criteria
o Information about an enemy or possible enemy or an area; and an agency dedicated to obtaining such information
or the basic eternal quality of Divine Mind (Christian Science)
or the ability to perform computer functions
It makes sense to look at the definition, “the ability to perform the function of the computer.” At first glance, an executable computer program, which provides a computer function (for example, calculation or text writing), has no intelligence. However, consider for a moment that “human or animal instinct” is the inherent disposition of a living organism toward a particular behavior. Based on our knowledge of computers, we can think of “instinct” as a group of programs written in genetic material such as DNA.
When a worker performs his tasks automatically, it means that he has in his brain the necessary “programs” for automatic actions. In part, these programs were created by the special training he received to enable him to do his job. The congenital and acquired programs are all part of the human intellect or intelligence. It is the same for an executable computer program. The program carries a part of the intellect of its creators, translated into a language (code) that the machine understands.
Therefore, an executable computer program has some intelligence. Modern computer systems that can, for example, choose an optimal decision or make a rational analysis of external influences for this decision, are intelligent systems. This is why AI is a powerful resource for finding solutions to a wide range of problems (including non-formalized ones) for which there are currently no known solutions.
Historically, the term “intelligence” was associated with government organizations (agencies) engaged in the collection of information for national security and defense purposes, such as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the United States. Today, this term has a broader meaning, with practical applications to real systems and products. AI methods include elements found in cybernetics, computer science, psychology, neuroscience, cognitive science, linguistics, operations research, economics, control theory, and mathematics, among others. AI also connects and overlaps with fields like robotics, control systems, programming, data mining, and logistics.
Artificial intelligence systems are the realization of the science of artificial intelligence. In other words, AI could be called “Application of Artificial Intelligence”. The term “AI” is also used to describe an intelligence property of new machines or programs. Many AI experts predict that by the middle of this century, intelligent machines will be all around us. Machines like robots already touch our lives. Cars, electronic devices, and airplanes are assembled and tested with the help of various robotic machines. The reality that computers have saved the world from the information explosion, while making it affordable for students and other everyday users, is due in large part to the use of intelligent machines. Virtually all the machines around us are rapidly becoming “smart”, with the help of smart applications. The revenue generated by the artificial intelligence and robotics industries is now measured in the billions of dollars annually.
With advanced computer systems used in traffic control or manufacturing control, it is reasonable to retain human ability to solve bottleneck problems in real time. Human-machine systems can exist with different levels of automation (from manual to autonomous), and artificial intelligence systems can have different degrees, from simple to highly complex.
Today, many applications of Artificial Intelligence are present in industry, business, medicine, car navigation, communications, military operations, space exploration, etc. The average person may have little to no knowledge of current AI applications, but encounter the results of AI many times a day. For example, the amazing functionality of everyday machines such as a car, a sewing machine, kitchen appliances, and the Internet, or the quality of television images, movies, and telephone communications are the result of the use of intelligence systems. artificial in many common applications. high-tech products.
AIS will undoubtedly become commonplace in the very near future, as the widespread use of these systems will bring more prosperity and greater well-being to the entire population of our planet. Intelligent automation systems, various advisory programs, and robots can and will do the job that we can’t or don’t want to do. The article is an excerpt from the author’s book “Artificial Intelligence Around Us”, published by Bookstand Publishing