An Introduction to Artificial Intelligence


Since the invention of computers, humans have drastically enhanced the power of computer systems in terms of their increasing speed, and reducing size, and their diverse working domains. With this, a most promising field, named Artificial Intelligence (A.I.), made its place in almost every application areas.  Let it be Industrial application, Medical Diagnosis or Smart Home device, A.I. is used in one or other way out. The field of A.I. is actively growing and changing. Thus we decide to write a article on Introduction to Artificial Intelligence with detailing its areas, applications, and other useful information.

Article Content:
1. Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
2. Different Areas of Artificial Intelligence
3. Recent Artificial Intelligence Applications
4. Artificial Intelligence Challenges
5. Some A.I. Based Start-ups
6. TOP Universities Doing A.I. Research 
7. Top A.I. International Journals
8. Useful A.I. Resources

1. Introduction

Definition and Meaning of Artificial Intelligence

Mr. John McCarthy coined the term “Artificial Intelligence” in 1955 for the first time. He defined AI as “The Science and Engineering of making intelligent machines”. First let me tell you what is the meaning of two words: Artificial and Intelligence.

Human Intelligence is exhibited by qualities like ability to reason, solve problem, comprehend, grasp, make decision, apply knowledge, etc. Synonym of intelligence is smartness, cleverness, brilliance of a person. A student is considered as intelligent / brilliant if he possesses good reasoning, and problem solving ability.

Artificial means man made. We generally say artificial tree/artificial flower, if it is man made and not natural tree/ flower.

So, Artificial Intelligence (AI) means, Intelligence given by men to machines. As such machines do not have their own natural intelligence, but intelligence given by men, and hence machines are Artificially Intelligent. For example, in a figure shown below, robot is serving drink, as it is taught to do so by humans only.

Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
Robot Serving Drink.

Thus, AI is a field of study which deals with developing intelligent machines or software that act or think like human being. Researchers have defined A.I. as “the study and design of intelligent agents“. Software or hardware system is considered as intelligent agent. It perceives its environment and takes decisions like human being. It may take decision in a better way than human being.

Basis of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is a science and technology based on multiple disciplines. They are Computer Science, Biology, Psychology, Linguistics, Mathematics, and Engineering. Out of these disciplines, one or more discipline can contribute in the development of an intelligent system. The main focus of A.I. is to develop computer functions related to human intelligence, such as learning, reasoning, and problem solving.

Artificial Intelligence in Day to Day Life

We do take decisions and solve real life problems throughout the day. We do it based on our natural god gifted Intelligence. For example driving a car/vehicle, playing chess, scheduling of events, etc. A software or machine can do  same thing, if it uses Artificial Intelligence.

Humanoid robots are being deployed to perform jobs that are traditionally done by humans. Robots are already working in some hotels — the Henn-na Hotel in Sasebo, Japan. In a Marriott hotel in Ghent, Belgium, a humanoid robot is working since June 2015. The robot welcomes guests in 19 languages and guards the buffet. A Facebook application “Moments” can recognise faces from captured photos. It can share it to their respective friend(s)/relative(s) in the photo. It is using Artificial intelligence to recognise persons in the photos. 

2. Areas of Artificial Intelligence [ Back ]

  • Knowledge Representation and Reasoning

    It involves study of methods to represent large amount of knowledge efficiently and effectively, so that reasoning and decision making becomes easier. Example: MYCIN Expert System uses rule based knowledge representation.

  • Game Playing

    Methods and techniques to generate intelligent behaviours, primarily in game player characters for simulating human-like intelligence. Example: IBM Deep Blue, Far Cry, etc.

  • Search and Optimization

    Design and development of techniques for finding optimal solution to highly complex problems. Example: Genetic Algorithms, Swam Intelligence are some of the  search and optimization techniques to solve travelling sales problem.

  • Multi-agent systems

    Designing of AI systems to interact and work together to solve a real-time problem. Computer game, Space War, is an example of multi-agent system.

  • Natural Language Processing

    Methods and techniques for human-computer interaction through natural text and speech. The Apple  Inc. Virtual Assistant, Siri, uses natural language processing.

  • Uncertain Knowledge and Reasoning

    Real world problems has inherently uncertainty. Study of methods of uncertain knowledge representation and reasoning like fuzzy set and fuzzy logic. Medical imaging and diagnosis uses uncertain knowledge based reasoning.

  • Autonomous agents and robots

    It involves development of robots which can interact with the environment and make right decisions independently. Self driving vehicles and auto manufacturing industries are best examples.

  • Machine Learning

    It involves analysis of data & treads. Training of system(s) to learn from data and trends. Then the system makes decisions and adapt based on its learning. Example: Stock prediction and whether prediction, prediction of Cancer, etc

  • Fuzzy Image Processing

    Digital images are analysed using Fuzzy based image processing for finding useful features from the images. Example: Satellite image enhancement and image in-painting uses fuzzy based image processing.

  • Cognitive Modelling

    A cognitive model is an approximation to human cognitive processes for the purposes of comprehension and prediction. This model is used to solve problem. Example: How does a radiologist learn to categorise whether an x-ray image contains a cancerous tumour, a benign tumour, or no tumour at all.

3. Recent A.I. Applications [ Back ]

  • Smart Cars

    Google, Tesla Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Delphi,  Bosch, etc developing fully self-driving cars since last few years. Objective is to improve road safety and help  those who are blind, disabled, or others who  can’t drive. Big auto brands and technology heavyweights are investing heavily in R&D of driver less vehicle.

  • Virtual Personal Assistants

    Intelligent digital personal assistants like Siri, Google Now, and Cortana are using artificial intelligence based techniques. Face book “Moments” application uses face recognition for sharing of photos.

  • Game Playing

    IBM developed chess-playing computer named Deep Blue. It is the first computer based chess-playing system to won both a chess game and a chess match against, Garry Kasparov, a world champion. Also, games like Far Cry and Call of Duty uses A.I. significantly. Used for finding beneficial objects or actions that might be useful for their survival.

  • Smart Home Devices

    With the advent of home automation technology, many smart home devices are equipped with capability to learn person’s behaviour patterns. It help us to save money by adjusting the settings on devices or appliances which results in saving of energy and increase in convenience. Examples are Canary, Ulo, Nest Thermostat, Goji, Homey, etc.

  • Health Care

    AI is used for Diagnosis of diseases, cancer prediction and detection, medical image analysis and many more. MYCIN was first AI based medical diagnosis system.

  • Robotics

    The robotics has been key player in the various application area such as Industries. Robots are used for handling material, cutting, welding, colour coating, drilling, polishing, etc. Autonomous robots are being developed for Military to reach inaccessible and hazardous zones during war. Defence Research and Development Organisation developed a robot (named Daksh) for locating, handling and destroying hazardous objects safely.

  • Surveillance

    Surveillance systems analyses video footage in real-time. It detect and track abnormal activities that may cause a threat to an organisation’s security. The Japanese multinational company, Sony, is developing intelligence human attention & security Systems.

  • Business Intelligence

    Big companies are using AI for intelligent decision making. For example Amazon is using an application to identify buying patterns of customers. It can identify items, even before we begin our search, which we may want to buy. Netflix is using AI for movie recommendations.

  • Intelligent Workers

    Humanoid robots are being deployed to perform jobs that are traditionally done by humans . Robots are already working in some hotels. In a Marriott hotel in Ghent, Belgium, welcomes guests in 19 languages and guards the buffet.

  • Transportation

    Fuzzy logic controllers have been developed for automatic gearboxes in automobiles. Mitsubishi and NISSAN ships car with AI controlled Anti-lock Break System.

  • Automatic Access Control and Security

    A.I. based algorithms and methods are used in Face Recognition systems. These systems are used to give access to premises or facility. Also used for taking automatic attendance of employees.

4. Artificial Intelligence Challenges [ Back ]

  • Biological systems can adapt to new environments–not perfectly, but often they can adapt. Can we build a program which can install itself. Can we build a program which can run itself on an unknown architecture?
  • Machine learning has grown to much extent, but can we design new models and tools which can challenge the learning capabilities of human brain?
  • Competitive speech understanding systems have much higher error rates and are often sensitive to microphone. Can we build a speech understanding system that overcomes these problems.
  • How can one ensure that an AI system doesn’t make investigative moves which causes very negative consequences? For example, a cleaning robot shouldn’t try to put a wet mop in an electrical outlet.
  • One should ensure that AI systems are able to learn without troubling their human masters. Also, it should learns the behaviour, which is appropriate to concerned environments. For example, the things learned for a factory work-floor may not be safe enough for a home.
  • Can we build a system by evolution that is better at a non-trivial task than anything that has been built by hand?

5. Some A.I. Based Start-ups [ Back ]

6. TOP Universities Doing A.I. Research [Back]

  • Stanford University, Stanford, CA
  • Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
  • University of California, Berkeley, CA
  • University of Washington, Seattle, WA
  • Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

7. Top A.I. International Journals [ Back ]

  • International Journal of Artificial Intelligence, Elsevier
  • Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence , IEEE Transactions
  • Evolutionary Computation, IEEE Transactions
  • International Journal of Robotics Research
  • Neural Networks and Learning Systems , IEEE Transactions
  • Artificial Intelligence , Elsevier
  • Human-Machine Systems , IEEE Transactions
  • Fuzzy Optimization and Decision Making , Springer
  • Expert Systems with Applications , Elsevier
  • ACM Transactions on Intelligent Systems and Technology , ACM
  • Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence , Elsevier
  • Computational Intelligence and AI in Games , IEEE Transactions
  • International Journal of Intelligent Systems, Wiley

8. Useful A.I. Resources [ Back ]