AI News, Cyberbotics' Robot Curriculum/What is Artificial Intelligence?

Cyberbotics' Robot Curriculum/What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an interdisciplinary field of study that includes computer science, engineering, philosophy and psychology.

Early in the 17th century, René Descartes envisioned the bodies of animals as complex but reducible machines, thus formulating the mechanistic theory, also known as the 'clockwork paradigm'.

Wilhelm Schickard created the first mechanical digital calculating machine in 1623, followed by machines of Blaise Pascal (1643) and Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz (1671), who also invented the binary system.

In 1931 Kurt Gödel showed that sufficiently powerful consistent formal systems contain true theorems unprovable by any theorem-proving AI that is systematically deriving all possible theorems from the axioms.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Joel Moses demonstrated the power of symbolic reasoning for integration problems in the Macsyma program, the first successful knowledge-based program in mathematics.

Leonard Uhr and Charles Vossler published 'A Pattern Recognition Program That Generates, Evaluates, and Adjusts Its Own Operators' in 1963, which described one of the first machine learning programs that could adaptively acquire and modify features and thereby overcome the limitations of simple perceptrons of Rosenblatt.

Ted Shortliffe demonstrated the power of rule-based systems for knowledge representation and inference in medical diagnosis and therapy in what is sometimes called the first expert system.

In 1995, one of Ernst Dickmanns' robot cars drove more than 1000 miles in traffic at up to 110 mph, tracking and passing other cars (simultaneously Dean Pomerleau of Carnegie Mellon tested a semi-autonomous car with human-controlled throttle and brakes).

Hence, he will interact with the machine, for example by chatting using the keyboard and the screen to try to understand whether or not there is a human intelligence behind this machine writing the answers to his questions.

Hence he will want to ask very complicated questions and see what the machine answers and try to determine if the answers are generated by an AI program or if they come from a real human being.

Although the original Turing test is often described as a computer chat session (see picture on the right), the interaction between the observer and the machine may take very various forms, including a chess game, playing a virtual reality video game, interacting with a mobile robot, etc.

Unlike adults who will generally say that the robots were programmed in some way to perform this behavior, possibly mentioning the sensors, actuators and micro-processor of the robot, the children will describe the behavior of the robots using the same words they would use to describe the behavior of a cat running after a mouse.

They will grant feelings to the robots like ”he is afraid of”, ”he is angry”, ”he is excited”, ”he is quiet”, ”he wants to...”, etc.

For example if a benchmark consists in playing chess against the Deep Blue program, some observers may think that this requires some intelligence and hence it is a cognitive benchmark, whereas some other observers may object that it doesn't require intelligence and hence it is not a cognitive benchmark.

They include IQ tests developed by psychologists as well as animal intelligence tests developed by biologists to evaluate for example how well rats remember the path to a food source in a maze, or how do monkeys learn to press a lever to get food.

The last chapter of this book will introduce you to a series of robotics cognitive benchmarks (especially the Rat's Life benchmark) for which you will be able to design your own intelligent systems and compare them to others.

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