Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a science of intelligence. It is the intelligence that machines or software exhibit. As an academic field of study, it seeks to establish the perceptive and cognitive nature of so-called intelligent systems. It also seeks to reveal the actions that the intelligent systems take based on their understanding of their environment. This understanding is usually based on data collected for the environment. AI has been a fascination of the human race from a long time. Evidence can be traced back to the ancient Egypt. According to Li and Du (2007, p.
1), a man living in Alexandria named Hero came up with a means to automatically give holy water to worshippers. All they had to do was insert coins into a slot and two huge bronze priests would raise their pots. Holy water would then pour out the pots into a sacrificial fire. Was this invention of automation of sorts to be considered intelligent, then AI has made major strides in progress. Essay Q to answer: Technical specifics of AI in the real worldIn the modern age and in real life, AI has taken various forms and techniques.
This is primarily because AI research and developments have been centered on specific individuals, research companies and academic institutions. Each particular AI flavor has been geared towards a specific goal or objective. As a result, divergent AI systems have been developed based on the discipline and purpose of application. For instance, Jones (2008, p. 7), highlights the “Dendral Project” which was created at Stanford University in 1965. It was ‘developed to help organic chemists understand the organization of unknown organic molecules.
It used as its inputs mass spectrometry graphs and a knowledge base of chemistry, making it the first known expert system’. Also highlighted is Macsyma which was developed at MIT by Carl Engelman, William Martin and Joel Moses. This was a computer algebra system written in MacLisp, which is a dialect of LISP that was also developed at MIT. It ‘demonstrated solving integration problems with symbolic reasoning’. Present day math applications that are used commercially base some of their features from this early mathematical system. Various intelligence characteristics are exhibited by AI systems depending on their domain.
For example, perception of data. Honavar and Uhr (1994) point out that this involves interpretation, manipulation and integration of data from sensors with the systems internal operations setting the context and purpose of action. Another feature exhibited by AI is communication. AI is able to relay its interpretation of received data and explain events and actions to other intelligent agents like humans. This is achieved using sound, pictures, symbols, signals, signs and icons. The AI is also autonomous. It can formulate plans, set goals and take action to meet these goals.
It is capable of modifying the actions in response to unexpected circumstances so as to achieve the set goals. This is a very crucial feature as the system can learn and easily adapt to changing environments and inherent stimuli. One of the AI systems currently deployed is the USA NSA’s PRISM surveillance program. This system was enabled during the term of President Bush by the Protect America Act of 2007 and by the 2008 amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The authority of making use of this system was granted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
The FISA Amendments Act of 2008 (FISAA) protects companies that cooperate with governments agencies by sharing private intelligence information. It was renewed in 2012 by Congress under President Barack Obama up to 2017.