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The Cutting Edge. Chapter 17 Expert Systems, Robotics, and Virtual Reality. Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI is a field of study that explores how computers can be used for tasks that require the human characteristics of intelligence , imagination , and intuition. AI Interests.
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The Cutting Edge Chapter 17 Expert Systems, Robotics, and Virtual Reality
Artificial Intelligence (AI) • AI is a field of study that explores how computers can be used for tasks that require the human characteristics of intelligence, imagination, and intuition.
AI Interests • AI includes the following branches of study: • Problem solving • Natural languages • Expert systems • Robotics
Problem Solving • This area of AI includes solving simple problems such as games and complex strategies needed by the military.
Natural Language • This branch of AI involves the study of the human/computer interface that uses standard English.
Expert Systems • Expert systems present the computer as an “expert” on some particular topic.
Robotics • Robotics is a branch of AI that is concerned with endowing computer-controlled machines with electronic eyes, ears, limbs, and voice.
Early AI • Early AI research revealed that the problem of simulating human intelligence is far more complex than feeding facts into a computer. • Current research focuses instead on how computers learn.
How Computers Learn • Computers learn by being given a knowledge base which is a set of facts and rules about those facts. • Next, the computer uses an inference engine to access, select, and interpret a set of rules to make up new facts.
AI Debate • For many years, researchers in AI have debated about whether or not a computer can think. • So far, AI systems cannot match a human’s ability to solve problems through original thought.
Data Mining • Since computers solve problems by step-by-step logic, they are ideally suited for data mining. • Data mining is the process of extracting previously unknown information from existing data.
Natural Language Ambiguities • Humans want to be able to use natural languages with computers. • However, natural languages, such as English, are full of ambiguities. • Computers need more than vocabulary and grammatical rules to truly understand what is being “said” to them.
The Context of Natural Languages • An additional problem for computers is the context in which the words are spoken. • Humans have a sense of context. However, AI researchers have been unable to “teach” a computer to understand based on context.
Expert Systems • An expert system is a software package used with an extensive set of organized data. • The organization of data presents the computer as an “expert” on a particular topic.
Examples of Computer Experts • Depending on the nature of the organized data, the computer expert can assist with: • meal planning • medical diagnosis • financial planning
Expert Systems in Business • Businesses use expert systems to: • make the knowledge of human experts accessible to more people • simplify assembly-line production • efficiently route transportation systems demands
Building an Expert System • Most organizations begin with an expert system shell and fill in the knowledge they will be working with. • The expert system shell includes the basic structure that will be used to access the knowledge after it is entered.
Knowledge Engineer • The role of a knowledge engineer is to gather the information needed to feed into the expert system shell and then to link them in a way that simulates the way a human expert thinks.
Robotics • Robotics is a field of AI that tries to endow human capabilities to a machine-controlled entity. • However, most robots are not found in homes, schools, or offices. Instead, they are in factories.
Robots in the Factory • Those tireless, mechanical arms in factories are actually robots. • A robot is a computer-controlled device that can physically manipulate its surroundings according to a set of predescribed conditions.
Field Robots • Field robots are used to inspect and repair places that would be unsafe for people. • Field robots have been used to clean chemical spills, explore volcanoes, inspect nuclear power plants, and other dangerous sites.
Virtual Reality (VR) • The purpose of VR is to engage a user in a computer-created environment so that the user physically interacts with that environment.
VR Immersion • Sometimes the user is so absorbed with the VR interaction that they are said to be immersed in it. • VR alters perceptions partly by appealing to several senses at once. • Sight, hearing, and touch are all affected by images that respond to user movement.
VR Travel • VR allows users to travel to various places while staying put. • In addition, users can travel into places that are not possible in the real world (e.g. inside molecules).
Promises of VR • VR is very new technology. Practical application of this branch of AI will require improvement in: • Headsets • Data gloves
Headsets andData Gloves • Headsets produce 3-D images for the user to see. Position sensors in the headset tell the VR system the direction the user is looking. • Data gloves also have sensors that allow the user to interact with the computer-generated world.
Conclusion • The immediate prospects for expert systems, robots, and virtual reality systems are bright. • More research in artificial intelligence is needed to overcome current limitations.