There has been a lot of myths, and also criticisms about the relatively new field of computer science called Artificial intelligence(AI). Some even believed that AI was the way to a rule by machines. Some say AI is nothing but nonsense cladded in technical terms. In this article I try to demystify this fascinating field to the common man
AI can be thought of as the quest of methods to make computers that have intelligence. Since computers are currently nonliving things, we may better think of it as the search for methods to extract intelligent responses from machines.
Believe it or not Ai widely uses one of the methods which unsystematic people like me daily uses in life: Search! Many problems are solved by using searches. Kasparov was defeated by a machine only because the machine could search faster and more efficiently, the sequence of positions that could result from moves of it and the opponent. Search in AI comes in many flavors like simple unorganized search to organized idea based heuristic search. AI people use lot of jargon to mystify their search methods like hill climbing, simulated annealing etc,.
Generally search is made on a network like structure joining the results of various operations. This structure is called a state space or even state space graph. differeant search methods crawl through this structure in different ways for a solution.
Modern Ai programs also use a lot of memorizing. They call it a knowledge base . But it is basically a set of facts or even rules stored in some sort of database. Computers do knot have the common sense to know simple facts like a man born in BC 1100 will not be alive now, or a mango cannot have 300 ton weight. This is one of the bottlenecks in AI. No commonsense!!
Also computers cannot do some things we do without intelligence. For example it will be difficult for a machine to identify a cat in a bush from the picture ,which even a four year child can do. AI have great difficulties for routine tasks. What a contradiction!! a computer can beat a grand master in chess, but cannot recognize a plastic mouse from a real one.
Despite all its limitations AI is helping us a lot in various fields like medicine, war, security and a lot others. About those things i will write later