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Chapter 1 (final)

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    • Artificial Intelligence: An IntroductionThe AI ProblemsThe Underlying AssumptionAI TechniquesGamesTheorem ProvingNatural Language ProcessingVision ProcessingSpeech ProcessingRoboticsExpert SystemSearch KnowledgeAbstractionUnit 1What is Artificial Intelligence Learning Objectives After reading this unit you should appreciate the following: • Artificial Intelligence: An Introduction • AI Problems • AI Techniques • Games • Theorem Proving • Natural Language Processing • Vision and Speech Processing • Expert System • Search Knowledge • AbstractionTopArtificial Intelligence: An Introduction
    • 2 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCEArtificial intelligence (AI) is the study of how to make computers do things that, at the moment,people do better. This definition is, of course, somewhat ephemeral because of its reference tothe current state of computer science but the fact remains that most attempt to define complexand widely used terms precisely are exercises in futility. To do this, we propose the above by nomeans is a universally accepted definition. It as well fails to include some areas of potentially verylarge impact, namely problems that cannot now be solved well by either computers or people. Butit provides a good outline of what constitutes artificial intelligence, and it avoids the philosophicalissues that dominate attempts to define the meaning of artificial intelligence. Interestingly, though, itsuggests a similarity with philosophy at the same time it is avoiding it.AI has embraced the larger scientific goal of constructing an information-processing theory ofintelligence. If such a science of intelligence could be developed, it could guide the design ofintelligent machines as well as explicate intelligent behaviour as it occurs in humans and otheranimals.TopThe AI ProblemsMuch of the early work in the field focused on formal tasks, such as game playing and theoremproving. Chess written by Samuel, also received a good deal of attention. The Logic Theorist wasan early attempt to prove mathematical theorems. Gelernters theorem prover explored anotherarea of mathematics: geometry. Game playing and theorem proving share the property thatpeople who do them well are considered to be displaying intelligence. Despite this, it appearedinitially that computers could perform well those tasks simply by being fast at exploring a largenumber of solution paths and then selecting the best one. It was thought that this processrequired very little knowledge and could therefore be programmed easily. As we will see later, thisassumption turned out to be false since no computer is fast enough to overcome thecombinatorial explosion generated by most problems.Decision-making was yet a major assault in AI when day-to-day chores come in pictureoften called commonsense reasoning. It includes reasoning about physical objects and theirrelationships to each other (e.g., an object can be in only one place at a time), as well asreasoning about actions and their consequences (e.g., if you let go of something, it will fall to thefloor and maybe break).
    • WHAT IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE 3As the techniques in AI progressed and techniques for handling larger amounts of worldknowledge were developed, some progress was made on the tasks just described and new taskscould reasonably be attempted. These include perception (vision and speech), natural languageunderstanding, and problem solving in specialized domains such as medical diagnosis andchemical analysis.Perception of the world around us is crucial to our survival. Animals with much less intelligencethan people are capable of more sophisticated visual perception than are current machines.Perceptual tasks are difficult because they involve analog (rather than digital) signals; the signalsare typically very noisy and usually a large number of things (some of which may be partiallyobscuring others) must be perceived at once.In order to use language, to communicate a wide variety of ideas is perhaps the most importantthing that separates humans from the other animals. This is usually referred to as natural languageunderstanding, is still extremely difficult. In order to understand sentences about a topic, it isnecessary to know not only a lot about the language itself but also a good deal about the topic sothat unstated assumptions can be recognized.Apart from these mundane tasks, many people can also perform one or maybe more specializedtasks in which carefully acquired expertise is necessary. Examples of such tasks includeengineering design, scientific discovery, medical diagnosis, and financial planning. Programs thatcan solve problems in these domains also fall under the aegis of artificial intelligence. Figure 1.1lists some of the tasks that are the targets of work in AI.First perceptual, linguistic, and commonsense skills are learned. Later (and of course for somepeople, never) expert skills such as engineering, medicine, or finance are acquired. It might seemto make sense then that the earlier skills are easier and thus more acquiescent to computerizedduplication than are the later, more specialized ones. For this reason, much of the initial AI workwas concentrated in those early areas. But it turns out that this naive assumption is not right.Although expert skills require knowledge that many of us do not have, they often require muchless knowledge than do the more mundane skills and that knowledge is usually easier torepresent and deal with inside programs.
    • 4 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE Figure 1.1: Some of the Task Domains of AIAs a result, the problem areas where AI is now flourishing most as a practical discipline (asopposed to a purely research one) are primarily the domains that require only specializedexpertise without the assistance of commonsense knowledge. There are now thousands ofprograms called expert systems in day-to-day operation throughout all areas of industry andgovernment. Each of these systems attempts to solve part, or perhaps all, of a practical,significant problem that previously required scarce human expertise.Before embarking on a study of specific AI problems and solution techniques, it is important atleast to discuss, if not to answer, the following four questions:1. What are our underlying assumptions about intelligence?2. What kinds of techniques will be useful for solving AI problems?3. At what level of detail, if at all, are we trying to model human intelligence?
    • WHAT IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE 54. How will we know when we have succeeded in building an intelligent program? Student Activity 1.1Before reading next section, answer the following questions.1. Discuss different AI task domains in detail.2. What do you mean by an Expert System?3. What problems we have to face in Natural Language understanding?If your answers are correct, then proceed to the next section.TopThe Underlying AssumptionThe core research in artificial intelligence lies in what Newell and Simon call the physical symbolsystem hypothesis. They define a physical symbol system as follows:A physical symbol system consists of a set of entities, called symbols, which are physical patternsthat can occur as components of another type of entity called an expression (or symbol structure).Thus, a symbol structure is composed of a number of instances (or tokens) of symbols related insome physical way (such as one token being next to another). At any instant of time the systemwill contain a collection of these symbol structures. Besides these structures, the system alsocontains a collection of processes that operate on expressions to produce other expressions:processes of creation, modification, reproduction and destruction. A physical symbol system is amachine that produces through time an evolving collection of symbol structures. Such a systemexists in a world of objects wider than just these symbolic expressions themselves.They then state the hypothesis asThe Physical Symbol System Hypothesis: A physical symbol system has the necessary andsufficient means for general intelligent action.There appears to be no way to prove or disprove it on logical grounds as it just a hypothesis. So itmust be subjected to empirical validation. We may find that it is false. We may find that the bulk ofthe evidence says that it is true. But the only way to determine its truth is by experimentation.
    • 6 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCEComputers provide the perfect medium for this experimentation since they can be programmed tosimulate any physical symbol system we like. This ability of computers to serve as arbitrarysymbol manipulators was noticed very early in the history of computing.As it has become increasingly easy to build computing machines, so it has become increasinglypossible to conduct empirical investigations of the physical symbol system hypothesis. In eachsuch investigation, a particular task that might be regarded as requiring intelligence is selected. Aprogram to perform the task is proposed and then tested. Although we have not been completelysuccessful at creating programs that perform all the selected tasks, most scientists believe thatmany of the problems that have been encountered will ultimately prove to be surmountable bymore sophisticated programs than we have yet produced.Evidence in support of the physical symbol system hypothesis has come not only from areas suchas game playing, where one might most expect to find it, but also from areas such as visualperception, where it is more tempting to suspect the influence of subsymbolic processes.However, subsymbolic models (for example, neural networks) are beginning to challengesymbolic ones at such low-level tasks. Whether certain subsymbolic models conflict with thephysical symbol system hypothesis is a topic still under debate. And it is important to note thateven the success of subsymbolic systems is not necessarily evident against the hypothesis. It isoften possible to accomplish a task in more than one way.The importance of the physical symbol system hypothesis is twofold. It is a significant theory ofthe nature of human intelligence and so is of great interest to psychologists. It also forms thebasis of the belief that it is possible to build programs that can perform intelligent tasks nowperformed by people. Our major concern here is with the latter of these implications, although aswe will soon see, the two issues are not unrelated. Student Activity 1.2Before reading next section, answer the following questions.1. What is physical symbol system hypothesis?2. Discuss the advantage of physical symbol system hypothesis in AI.If your answers are correct, then proceed to the next section.Top
    • WHAT IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE 7AI TechniquesThe problems of Artificial intelligence appear to have very little in common except that they arehard. But to our relief there are varieties of techniques to find the solution of the same. What,then, if anything, can we say about those techniques besides the fact that they manipulatesymbols? How could we tell if those techniques might be useful in solving other problems,perhaps ones not traditionally regarded as AI tasks? The rest of this book is an attempt to answerthose questions in detail. But before we begin examining closely the individual techniques, it isenlightening to take a broad look at them to see what properties they ought to possess.Intelligence requires knowledge. To compensate for its one overpowering asset, indispensability,knowledge possesses some less desirable properties, including:• It is voluminous.• It is hard to characterise accurately.• It is constantly changing.• It differs from data by being organized in a way that corresponds to the ways it will be used.We are forced to conclude that an AI technique is a method that exploits knowledge that shouldbe represented in such a way that: • The knowledge captures generalizations. In other words, it is not necessary to represent separately each individual situation. Instead, situations that share important properties are grouped together. If knowledge does not have this property, inordinate amounts of memory and updating will be required. So we usually call something without this property "data" rather than knowledge. • It can be understood by people who must provide it. Although for many programs, the bulk of the data can be acquired automatically (for example, by taking readings from a variety of instruments), in many AI domains, most of the knowledge a program has, must ultimately be provided by people in terms they understand. • It can easily be modified to correct errors and to reflect changes in the world and in our worldview. • It can be used in a great many situations even if it is not totally accurate or complete.
    • 8 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE • It can be used to help overcome its own sheer bulk by helping to narrow the range of possibilities that must usually be considered.It is possible to solve AI problems without using AI techniques. And it is possible to apply AItechniques to the solution of non-AI problems. This is likely to be a good thing to do for problemsthat possess many of the same characteristics as do AI problems. In order to try to characterizeAI techniques in as problem-independent a way as possible, lets look at two very differentproblems and a series of approaches for solving each of them.TopGamesGame playing share the property that people who do them well are considered to be displayingintelligence. Despite this, it appeared initially that computers could perform well act those taskssimply by being fast at exploring a large number of solution paths and selecting the best one andif we apply this rule to day to day life then we can understand that, it is basic rule of problemsolving. Almost in every case for every problem in a particular situation we may have variouspossible solutions but if we want to solve the problem correctly then we have to choose a rightpath then only we can overcome the problem. Same strategy we adopt in game playing, if wewant to be a winner then we have to select right option among the various possible options. Byadopting this approach we can design best possible game (AI based). But it may not be winner allthe time. We can see this in real life problem for example Deep Blue (name of AI based computersystem) is defeated by the Garry Cosparov but next time Deep Blue first was able to defact theworld champion. We can understand it by following examples:Tic- Tac- ToeIn this section, we present a series of three programs to play tic-tac-toe. The programs in thisseries increase in:• Their complexity.• Their use of generalizations.• The clarity of their knowledge.• The extensibility of their approach.Thus they move toward being representations of what we call AI techniques.
    • WHAT IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE 9Program 1Data StructuresBoard: A nine-element vector representing the board, where the elements of the vectorcorrespond to the board positions as follows: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9An element contains the value 0 if the corresponding square is blank, I if it is filled with an X, or 2if it is filled with an O.Movetable: A large vector of 19,683 elements, each element of which is a nine-element vector. Thecontents of this vector are chosen specifically to allow the algorithm to work.The AlgorithmTo make a move, do the following:1. View the vector Board as a ternary (base three) number. Convert it to a decimal number.2. Use the number computed in step 1 as an index into movetable and access the vector stored there.3. The vector selected in step 2 represents the way the board will look after the move that should be made. So set Board equal to that vector.CommentsThis program is very efficient in terms of time. And, in theory, it could play an optimal game of tic-tac-toe. But it has several disadvantages:• It takes a lot of space to store the table that specifies the correct move to make from each board position.• Someone will have to do a lot of work specifying all the entries in the movetable.• It is very unlikely that all the required movetable entries can be determined and entered without any errors.
    • 10 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCEIf we want to extend the game, say to three dimensions, we would have to start from scratch, and 27in fact this technique would no longer work at all, since 3 board positions would have to bestored, thus overwhelming present computer memories.The technique embodied in this program does not appear to meet any of our requirements for agood AI technique. Let’s see if we can do better.Program 2Data StructuresBoard: A nine-element vector representing the board, as described for Program 1. But instead ofusing the number 0, 1, or 2 in each element, we store 2 (indicating blank), 3 (indicating X), or 5(indicating O). An integer indicating which move of the game is about to be played; 1 indicates thefirst move, 9 the last.The AlgorithmThe main algorithm uses three subprocedures:• Make2: Returns 5 if the center square of the board is blank, that is, if Board[5] = 2. Otherwise, this function returns any blank noncorner square (2,4,6,or 8).• Posswin(p): Returns 0 if player p cannot win on his next move; otherwise, it Returns the number of the square that constitutes a winning move. This function will enable the program both to win and to block the opponents win. Posswin operates by checking, one at a time, each of the rows, columns, and diagonals. Because of the way values are numbered, it can test an entire row (column or diagonal) to see if it is a possible win by multiplying the values of its squares together. If the product is 18 (3 x 3 x 2), then X can win. If the product is 50 (5 x 5 x 2), then O can win. If we find a winning row, we determine . which element is blank, and return the number of that square.• Go(n): Makes a move in square n. This procedure sets Board[n] to 3 if Turn is odd, or 5 if Turn is even. It also increments Turn by one.The algorithm has a built-in strategy for each move it may have to make. It makes the odd-numbered moves if it is playing X, the even-numbered moves if it is playing O. The strategy foreach turn is as follows:
    • WHAT IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE 11Turn = l Go(l) (upper left corner).Turn=2 If Board[5] is blank, Go(5), else Go(1).Turn=3 If Board[9] is blank, Go(9), else Go(3).Turn=4 If Posswin(X) is not 0, then Go(Posswin(X)) [i.e. block opponents win], else Go(Make2).Turn=5 If Posswin(X) is not 0 then Go(Posswin(X)) [i.e., win] else if Posswin(O) is not 0, then Go(Posswin(O)) [i.e., block win], else if Board[7] is blank, then Go(7), else Go(3). [Here the program is trying to make a fork.]Turn=6 If Posswin(O) is not 0 then Go(Posswin(O)), else if Posswin(X) is not 0, then Go(Posswin(X)), else Go(Make2).Turn=7 If Posswin(X) is not 0 then Go(Posswin(X)), else if Posswin(O) is not 0, then Go(Posswin(O)), else go anywhere that is blank.Turn=8 If Posswin(O) is not 0 then Go(Posswin(O)), else if Posswin(X) is not 0, then Go(Posswin(X)), else go anywhere that is blank.Turn=9 Same as Turn=7.CommentsThis program is not quite as efficient in terms of time as the first one since it has to check severalconditions before making each move. But it is a lot more efficient in terms of space. It is also a loteasier to understand the programs strategy or to change the strategy if desired. But the totalstrategy has still been figured out in advance by the programmer. Any bugs in the programmerstic-tac-toe playing skill will show up in the programs play. And we still cannot generalize any ofthe programs knowledge to a different domain, such as three-dimensional tic-tac-toe.Program 3This program is identical to Program 2 except for one change in the representation of the board.We again represent the board as a nine-element vector, but this time we assign board positionsto vector elements as follows: 8 3 4 1 5 9
    • 12 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE 6 7 9Notice that this numbering of the board produces a magic square: all the rows, columns, anddiagonals sum to 15. This means that we can simplify the process of checking for a possible win.In addition to marking the board as moves are made, we keep a list, for each player, of thesquares in which he or she has played. To check for a possible win for one player, we considereach pair of squares owned by that player and compute the difference between 15 and the sumof the two squares. If this difference is not positive or if it is greater than 9, then the original twosquares were not collinear and so can be ignored. Otherwise, if the square representing thedifference is blank, a move there will produce a win. Since no player can have more than foursquares at a time, there will be many fewer squares examined using this scheme than there wereusing the more straightforward approach of Program 2. This shows how the choice ofrepresentation can have a major impact on the efficiency of a problem-solving program.CommentsThis comparison raises an interesting question about the relationship between the way peoplesolve problems and the way computers do. Why do people find the row-scan approach easierwhile the number-counting approach is more efficient for a computer? We do not know enoughabout how people work to answer that question completely. One part of the answer is that peopleare parallel processors and can look at several parts of the board at once, whereas theconventional computer must look at the squares one at a time. Sometimes an investigation ofhow people solve problems sheds great light on how computers should do so. At other times, thedifferences in the hardware of the two seem so great that different strategies seem best. As welearn more about problem solving both by people and by machines, we may know better whetherthe same representations and algorithms are best for both people and machines.Program 4Data StructuresBoardPosition: A structure containing a nine-element vector representing the board, a list of boardpositions that could result from the next move, and a number representing an estimate of howlikely the board position is to lead to an ultimate win for the player to move.The Algorithm
    • WHAT IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE 13To decide on the next move, look ahead at the board positions that result from each possiblemove. Decide which position is best (as described below), make the move that leads to thatposition, and assign the rating of that best move to the current position.To decide which of a set of board positions is best, do the following for each of them:See if it is a win. If so, cal1 it the best by giving it the highest possible rating.Otherwise, consider all the moves the opponent could make next. See which of them is worst forus (by recursively calling this procedure). Assume the opponent will make that move. Whateverrating that move has, assign it to the node we are considering.The best node is then the one with the highest rating.This algorithm will look ahead at various sequences of moves in order to find a sequence thatleads to a win. It attempts to maximize the likelihood of winning, while assuming that theopponent will try to minimize that likelihood.CommentsThis program will require much more time than either of the others since it must search a treerepresenting all possible move sequences before making each move. But it is superior to theother programs in one very big way: It could be extended to handle games more complicated thantic-tac-toe, for which the exhaustive enumeration approach of the other programs wouldcompletely fall apart. It can also be augmented by a variety of specific kinds of knowledge aboutgames and how to play them. For example, instead of considering all possible next moves, itmight consider only a subset of them that are determined, by some simple algorithm, to bereasonable. And, instead of following each series of moves until one player wins, it could searchfor a limited time and evaluate the merit of each resulting board position using some staticfunction.Program 3 is an example of the use of an AI technique. For very small problems, it is less efficientthan a variety of more direct methods. However, it can be used in situations where those methodswould fail. Student Activity 1.3Before reading next section, answer the following questions.1. What is an AI techniques?
    • 14 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE2. Give an appropriate algorithm for solving in Tic-Tac-Toe problem.3. Explain the spectrum from static to AI-based techniques for a problem other than the two discussed in this unit. Think of your own problem or use one of the following: a. Translate an English sentence into Hindi. b. Teach a child to subtract integers.If your answers are correct, then proceed to the next section.TopTheorem ProvingTheorem proving has the property that people who do them well are considered to be displayingintelligence. The Logic Theorist was an early attempt to prove mathematical theorems. It was ableto prove several theorems from the Qussells Principia Mathematica. Gelernters’ theorem proverexplored another area of mathematics: geometry. There are three types of problems in A.I.Ignorable problems, in which solution steps can be ignored; recoverable problems in whichsolution steps can be undone; irrecoverable in which solution steps cannot be undone. Theoremproving falls into the first category i.e. it is ignorable suppose we are trying to solve a theorem, weproceed by first proving a lemma that we think will be useful. Eventually we realize that the lemmais not help at all. In this case we can simply ignore that lemma, and can start from beginning.TopNatural Language ProcessingPerception and communication are essential components of intelligent behaviour. They providethe ability to effectively interact with our environment. Humans perceive and communicatethrough their five basic senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste, and their ability togenerate meaningful utterances. Two of the senses, sight and hearing are especially complexand require conscious inferencing. Developing programs that understand natural language andthat comprehend visual scenes are two of the most difficult tasks facing AI researchers.Developing programs that understand a natural language is a difficult problem. Natural languagesare large. They contain an infinity of different sentences. No matter how many sentences aperson has heard or seen, new ones can always be produced. Also, there is much ambiguity in anatural language. Many words have several meanings such as can, bear, fly, and orange, andsentences can have different meanings in different contexts. This makes the creation of programs
    • WHAT IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE 15that “understand” a natural language, one of the most challenging tasks in AI. It requires that aprogram transform sentences occurring as part of a dialog into data structures which convey theintended meaning of the sentences to a reasoning program. In general, this means that thereasoning program must know a lot about the structure of the language, the possible semantics,the beliefs and goals of the user, and a great deal of general world knowledge.Developing programs to understand natural language is important in AI because a natural form ofcommunication with systems is essential for user acceptance. Further more, one of the mostcritical tests for intelligent behaviour is the ability to communicate effectively. AI programs must beable to communicate with their human counterparts in a natural way, and natural language is oneof the most important mediums for that purpose.Before proceeding further, a definition of understanding as used here should be given. We say aprogram understand a natural language if it behaves by taking a (predictably) correct oracceptable action in response to the input. For example, we say a child demonstratesunderstanding if it responds with the correct answer to a question. The action taken need not bean external response. It may simply be the creation of some internal data structures as wouldoccur in learning some new facts. But in any case, the structures created should be meaningfuland correctly interact with the world model representation held by the program. In this chapter weexplore many of the important issues related to natural language understanding and languagegeneration.TopVision ProcessingAccurate machine vision opens up a new realm of computer application. These applicationsinclude mobile robot navigation, complex manufacturing tasks, analysis of satellite images, andmedical image processing. In this section, we investigate how we can transform raw cameraimages into useful information about the world.A video camera provides a computer with an image represented as a two-dimensional grid ofintensity levels. Each grid element, or pixel, may store a single bit of information (that is,black/white) or many bits (perhaps a real-valued intensity measure and colour information). Avisual image is composed of thousands of pixels. What kinds of things might we want to do withsuch an image? Here are four operations, in order to increasing complexity:
    • 16 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE1. Signal Processing: Enhancing the image, either for human consumption or as input to another program.2. Measurement Analysis: For images containing a single object, determining the two- dimensional extent of the object depicted.3. Pattern Recognition: For single-object images, classifying the object into a category drawn from a finite set of possibilities.4. Image Understanding: For images containing many objects, locating the objects in the image, classifying them, and building a three-dimensional mode of the scene.Image understanding is the most difficult visual task, and it has been the subject of the most studyin AI. While some aspects of image understanding reduce to measurement analysis and patternrecognition, the entire problem remains unsolved, because of difficulties that include the following: An image is two-dimensional, while the world is three-dimensional. Some information is necessarily lost when an image is created. Figure 1.2: An Ambiguous Image One image may contain several objects, and some objects may partially occlude others. The value of a single pixel is affected by many different phenomena, including the colour of the object, the source of the light, the angle and distance of the camera, the pollution in the air, etc. It is hard to disentangle these effects.As a result, 2-D images are highly ambiguous. Given a single image, we could construct anynumber of 3-D worlds that would give rise to the image. For example, consider the ambiguousimage of Figure 1.2. It is impossible to decide what 3-D solid it portrays. In order to determine themost likely interpretation of a scene, we have to apply several types of knowledge.For example, we may invoke knowledge about low-level image features, such as shadows andtextures, Figure 1.3 shows how such knowledge can help to disambiguate the image. Having
    • WHAT IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE 17multiple images of the same object can also be useful for recovering 3-D structure. The use oftwo or more cameras to acquire multiple simultaneous views of an object is called stereo vision.Moving objects (or moving cameras) also supply multiple views. Of course, we must alsopossess knowledge about how motion affects images that get produced. Still more informationcan be gathered with a laser rangefinder, a device that returns an array of distance measuresmuch like sonar does. While rangefinders are still somewhat expensive, integration of visual andrange data will soon become commonplace. Integrating different sense modalities is calledsensor fusion. Other image factors we might want to consider include shading, colour, andreflectance.High-level knowledge is also important for interpreting visual data. For example, consider theambiguous object at the center of Figure 1.4(a). While no low-level image features can tell uswhat the object is, the object’s surroundings provide us with top-down expectations. Expectationsare critical for interpreting visual scenes. But the preferred interpretations of egg, bacon, and platereinforce each other mutually, providing the necessary expectations. (Figure 1.3) Figure 1.3: Using Low-Level Knowledge to Interpret an Image
    • 18 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE Figure 1.4: Using High-Level Knowledge to Interpret an ImageTopSpeech ProcessingNatural language understanding systems usually accept typed input, but for a number ofapplications this is not acceptable. Spoken language is a more natural form of communication inmany human-computer interfaces. Speech recognition systems have been available for sometime, but their limitations have prevented widespread use. Below are five major design issues inspeech systems. These issues also provide dimensions along which systems can be comparedwith one another. Speaker Dependence versus Speaker Independence: A speaker-independent system can listen to any speaker and translate the sounds into written text. Speaker independence is hard to achieve because of the wide variations in pitch and accent. It is easier to build a speaker-dependent system, which can be trained on the voice patterns of a single speaker. The system will only work for that one speaker. It can be retrained on another voice, but then it will no longer work for the original speaker. Continuous versus Isolated-Word Speech: Interpreting isolated-word speech, in which the speaker pauses between each word, is easier than interpreting continuous speech. This is because boundary effects cause words to be pronounced differently in different contexts. For example, the spoken-phrase “could you” contains a j sound, and despite the fact it contains two words, there is no empty space between them in the speech wave. The ability to recognize continuous speech is very important, however, since humans have difficulty speaking in isolated words. Real Time versus Offline Processing: Highly interactive applications require that a sentence be translated into text as it is being spoken, while in other situations, it is
    • WHAT IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE 19 permissible to spend minutes in computation. Real-time speeds are hard to achieve, especially when higher-level knowledge is involved. Large versus Small Vocabularly: Recognizing utterances that are confined to small vocabularies (e.g., 20 words) is easier than working with large vocabularies (e.g., 20,000 words). A small vocabulary helps to limit the number of word candidates for a given speech segment. Broad versus Narrow Grammar: An example of a narrow grammar is the one for phone numbers: S → XXX-XXXX, where X is any number between zero and nine.Still, no speech system is 100 per cent accurate. There has recently been renewed interest inintegrating speech recognition and natural language processing in order to overcome the finalhurdle. For example, ATNs and unification-based grammars can be used to constrain thehypotheses made by a speech system. Thus far, integration has proved difficult, because naturallanguage grammars do not offer much in the way of constraints.In the speech recognition literature, there is a quantitative measure of grammar, called perplexity.Perplexity measures the number of words that can legally appear next in the input (on average).The telephone number recognition task has a perplexity of 10, because at any decision point,there are ten alternatives. On a sample 1000-word English task, a word-pair grammar mayreduce the perplexity from 1000 down to 60. A bigram grammar may reduce it further, perhaps to20 (Lee and Hon, 1988).While natural language grammars accurately predict word categories (such as noun and verb),they say nothing about which words within a category are likely to show up in the input. Forexample, given the word “the,” a grammar might hypothesize that the next word is either anadjectives or a noun. But this knowledge does us little good when there are thousands of possibleadjectives and nouns to choose from. Thus, it is natural to turn to statistical, or collocational, factsabout language. For example, if the word “doctor” is recognized, then one might expect to hearthe word “nurse” later in the input, but not “Horse”. Collocational data, unlike more complexsyntactic and semantic structures, can be extracted automatically from large on-line bodies oftext. Ultimately, we want to substitute semantic and discourse information for statistical data. If weknow the conversation is about doctors, and if we know that doctors and nurses typically worktogether, then we should be able to generate the proper expectations. Such a strategy will requirelarge knowledge bases and a deeper understanding of semantics and discourse.
    • 20 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCETopRoboticsRobots have found numerous applications in industrial settings. Robot manipulators are able toperform simple repetitive task, such as bolting and fitting automobile parts, but these robots arehighly task-specific. It is a long-standing goal in robotics to build robots that can be programmedto carry out a wide variety of tasks.A manipulator is composed of a series of links and joints, usually terminating in an end-effector,which can take the form of a two-pronged gripper, a humanlike hand, or any of a variety of tools.One general manipulation problem is called pick-and-place, in which a robot must grasp an objectand move it to a specific location. For example, consider Figure 1.5, where the goal is to place apeg in a hole. Figure 1.5: A Pick-and-Place TaskThere are two main subtasks here. The first is to design a robot motion that ends with the objectstably grasped between the two fingers of the robot. Clearly some form of path planning, asdiscussed above, can be used to move the arm toward the object, but we need to modify thetechnique when it comes to the fine motion involved in the grasp itself. Here, uncertainty is acritical problem. A robot can never be sure of the precise location of the peg or the arm.Therefore, it would be a mistake to plan a grasp motion in which the gripper is spread only wideenough to permit the peg to pass, as in Figure 1.6(a). A better strategy is to open the gripperwide, then close gradually as the gripper gets near the peg, as in Figure 1.6(b). That way, if thepeg turns out to be located some small distance away from where we thought it was, the graspwill still succeed. Although this strategy depends less on precise vision, it requires some tactile
    • WHAT IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE 21sensitivity in order to terminate the grasp. Unless we take special care in designing graspingmotions, uncertainty can lead to disasters. For example, should the left side of the gripper touchthe peg one second before the right side does, the peg may fall, thus foiling the grasp. Brost(1988) and Mason et al. (1988) give robust algorithms for grasping a wide variety of objects.After the peg is stably grasped, the robot must place it in the hole. This subtask resembles thepath-planning problem, although it is complicated by the fact that moving the peg through 3-Dspace requires careful orchestration of the arm’s joints. Also, we must seriously consider theproblems introduced by uncertainty. Failure will result from even a slight positioning error,because the peg will jam flatly on the outer surface. We slide the peg along the surface, applyingdownward pressure so that the peg enters the hole at an angle. After this happens, we straightenthe peg gradually and push it down into the hole.This type of motion, which reacts to forces generated by the world, is called compliant motion.Compliant motion is very robust in the face of uncertainty. Humans employ compliant motion in awide variety of activities, such as writing on chalkboards. Figure 1.6: Naïve and Clever Strategies for GraspingSo given a pick-and-place problem, how can we automatically generate a sequence of compliantmotions? One approach (Lozano-Perez et al., 1984) is to use the familiar problem-solving processof backward chaining. Our initial and goal states for the peg-in-hole problem are represented aspoints in configuration space. First, we compute the set of points in 2-space from which we areguaranteed to reach the goal state in a single compliant motion, assuming a certain degree ofuncertainty in initial position and direction of movement and certain facts about relative friction.Now we use backward chaining to design a set of motions that is guaranteed to get us from theinitial state to some point in the goal state’s stored pre-image. Recursively applying this procedure
    • 22 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCEwill eventually yield a set of motions that, while individually uncertain, combine to form aguaranteed plan. Student Activity 1.4Before reading next section, answer the following questions.1. Describe scenarios in which the following features are critical: a. Reactivity: The robot must react quickly to a changing environment. b. Robustness: The robot must act appropriately, in spite of incomplete or inexact sensory data. c. Recoverability: When a plan fails to bring about expected results, the robot must find another way to achieve its goal.2. Describe three different ways of combining speech recognition with a natural language understanding system. Compare and contrast them in terms of expected performance and ease of implementation.3. Say each of the following phrases very slowly, and write down the sounds you use. Then gradually speed up, and continue to write down the sounds. Finally, say them the way you would in ordinary speech. How do the sounds change as you move through each series? What are the implications of these changes for continuous speech recognition? a. could you b. boy’s school c. the store, the elevator d. sharp point e. stop it f. want to goIf your answers are correct, then proceed to the next section.TopExpert System
    • WHAT IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE 23Expert System are a recent product of Artificial Intelligence. They began to emerge as universityresearch systems during the early 1970s. They have now become one of the more importantinnovations of AI since they have been shown to be successful commercial products as well asinteresting research tools.Application Domain of Expert System include plan, chemistry, biology, engineering,manufacturing, aerospace, military operations, finance, banking, meteorology, geology,geophysics and more. The list goes on and on.“An expert system is set of programs that manipulate encoded knowledge to solve problems in aspecialized domain that normally requires human expertise. An expert system’s knowledge isobtained from expert sources and code of in a form suitable for the system to use in its inferenceor reasoning processes. The expert knowledge most be obtained from specialists or othersources of expertise, such as texts, journal articles and data base.”We will discuss the Expert System is detail in unit eight.TopSearch KnowledgeIn order to solve the complex problems encountered in artificial intelligence, one needs both alarge amount of knowledge and some mechanisms for manipulating that knowledge to createsolutions to new problems. That is if we have knowledge that it is sufficient to solve a problem, wehave to search our goal in that knowledge. To search a knowledge base efficiently, it is necessaryto represent the knowledge base in a systematic way so that it can be searched easily.Knowledge searching is a basic problem in Artificial Intelligence. The knowledge can berepresented either in the form of facts or in some formalism. A major concept is that whileintelligent programs recognize search, search is computationally intractable unless it isconstrained by knowledge about the world. In large knowledge bases that contain thousands ofrules, the intractability of search is an overriding concern. When there are many possible paths ofreasoning, it is clear that fruitless ones not be pursued. Knowledge about path most likely to leadquickly to a goal state is often called search control knowledge.TopAbstraction
    • 24 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCEIn order to solve hard problems, a problem solver may have to generate long plans. In order to dothat efficiently, it is important to be able to eliminate some of the details of the problem until asolution that addresses the main issue is found. Then an attempt can be made to fill in theappropriate details. Abstraction means to hide the details of something. For example, if we wantto compute the square root of a number then we simply call the function sort in C. We do notneed to know the implementation details of this function. Early attempts to do this involved theuse of macro-operators, in which large operators we built from smaller one’s. But in thisapproach, no details were eliminated from actual description of the operators. A better approachwas developed in the ABSTRIPS system which actually planned in a hierarchy of abstractionspaces, in each of which preconditions at a lower level of abstraction was ignored. Student Activity 1.5Answer the following questions.1. What is the difference between vision and speech of AI problem?2. Describe the importance of Expert System.Summary• Artificial intelligence (AI) is the study of how to make computers do things, which, at the moment, people do better.• Perceptual tasks are difficult because they involve analog (rather than digital) signals; the signals are typically very noisy and usually a large number of things (some of which may be partially obscuring others) must be perceived at once.• Physical symbol system hypothesis is a significant theory of the nature of human intelligence and forms the basis of the belief that it is possible to build programs that can perform intelligent tasks now performed by people.• Artificial intelligence problems appear to have very little in common except that they are hard.• Knowledge possesses some less desirable properties - it is voluminous, it is hard to characterise accurately, it is constantly changing and it differs from data by being organized in a way that corresponds to the ways it will be used.• AI technique is a method that exploits knowledge.
    • WHAT IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE 25• A program is said to understand a natural language if it behaves by taking a (predictably) correct or acceptable action in response to the input.• Some of the popular application areas of AI include – Robotics, Natural language processing, Theorem proving, Pattern recognition.Self-assessment QuestionsFill in the blanks (Solved)1. ____________ is the study of how to make computers do things which, at the moment, people do better.2. The core research in artificial intelligence lies in ________ hypothesis.Answers1. Artificial Intelligence2. physical symbol systemTrue or False (Solved)1. Robotics is an artificial intelligence application area.2. Natural languages follow strict grammar rules.Answers1. True2. FalseFill in the blanks (Unsolved)1. __________ and ___________ are essential components of intelligent behaviour.2. Spoken language is a more natural form of ___________________ in many human computer interfaces.3. ____________ recognition classify the object into a category drawn from a finite set of possibilities.
    • 26 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCETrue or False (Unsolved)1. It is very easy to characterize knowledge.2. AI techniques minimize the use of knowledge in solving a problem.3. AI problems may be solved without using AI techniques.Detailed Questions1. Pick a specific topic within the scope of AI and use the sources described in this chapter to do a preliminary literature search to determine what the current state of understanding of that topic is. If you cannot think of a more novel topic, try one of the following: expert systems for some specific domain (e.g., cancer therapy, computer design, financial planning), recognizing motion in images, using natural (i.e., humanlike) methods for proving mathematical theorems, resolving pronominal references in natural language texts, representing sequences of events in time, or designing a memory organization scheme for knowledge in a computer system based on our knowledge of human memory organization.2. Explore the spectrum from static to AI-based techniques for a problem other than the two discussed in this chapter. Think of your own problem or use one of the following:  Translating an English sentence into Japanese.  Teaching a child to subtract integers.  Discovering patterns in empirical data taken from scientific experiments, and suggesting further experiments to find more patterns.3. Write short notes on the following: a. Robotics b. Theorem Proving c. Search Knowledge
    • 26 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCETrue or False (Unsolved)1. It is very easy to characterize knowledge.2. AI techniques minimize the use of knowledge in solving a problem.3. AI problems may be solved without using AI techniques.Detailed Questions1. Pick a specific topic within the scope of AI and use the sources described in this chapter to do a preliminary literature search to determine what the current state of understanding of that topic is. If you cannot think of a more novel topic, try one of the following: expert systems for some specific domain (e.g., cancer therapy, computer design, financial planning), recognizing motion in images, using natural (i.e., humanlike) methods for proving mathematical theorems, resolving pronominal references in natural language texts, representing sequences of events in time, or designing a memory organization scheme for knowledge in a computer system based on our knowledge of human memory organization.2. Explore the spectrum from static to AI-based techniques for a problem other than the two discussed in this chapter. Think of your own problem or use one of the following:  Translating an English sentence into Japanese.  Teaching a child to subtract integers.  Discovering patterns in empirical data taken from scientific experiments, and suggesting further experiments to find more patterns.3. Write short notes on the following: a. Robotics b. Theorem Proving c. Search Knowledge