Applications of AI
Q. What are the applications of AI?
A. Here are some.
You can buy machines that can play master level chess for a few
hundred dollars. There is some AI in them, but they play well against
people mainly through brute force computation--looking at hundreds of
thousands of positions. To beat a world champion by brute force and
known reliable heuristics requires being able to look at 200 million
positions per second.
In the 1990s, computer speech recognition reached a practical level for
limited purposes. Thus United Airlines has replaced its keyboard tree for
flight information by a system using speech recognition of flight
numbers and city names. It is quite convenient. On the the other hand,
while it is possible to instruct some computers using speech, most users
have gone back to the keyboard and the mouse as still more convenient.
understanding natural language
Just getting a sequence of words into a computer is not enough. Parsing
sentences is not enough either. The computer has to be provided with
an understanding of the domain the text is about, and this is presently
possible only for very limited domains.
The world is composed of three-dimensional objects, but the inputs to
the human eye and computers' TV cameras are two dimensional. Some
useful programs can work solely in two dimensions, but full computer
vision requires partial three-dimensional information that is not just a
set of two-dimensional views. At present there are only limited ways of
representing three-dimensional information directly, and they are not as
good as what humans evidently use.
A ``knowledge engineer'' interviews experts in a certain domain and tries
to embody their knowledge in a computer program for carrying out
some task. How well this works depends on whether the intellectual
mechanisms required for the task are within the present state of AI.
When this turned out not to be so, there were many dis