December 2004

Introduction Welcome to the December AI Expert. In this issue, I look at programming the Sony Aibo robot dog, the World Wide Mind, and (with some help from Hitch Hiker鈥檚 Guide to the Galaxy author Douglas Adams), Ronald Reagan. But first, some truly remarkable neural network news from the University of Florida. It鈥檚 probably not yet feasible to do this at home, but it would be great to see the technology taken up by private experimenters....

 路 26 min

November 2004

Welcome to the November 2004 Newsletter. I like Prolog, and have used it as my language of choice for various applications, including expert systems, analysing financial data, and teaching AI at Oxford University. My most recent project is an algebraic manipulation system for safe spreadsheet construction, to try and reduce some of the billions of pounds lost to spreadsheet errors every year. Having declared a bias to Prolog and logic-based AI, I must add that this is not the only way to go....

 路 29 min

October 2004

Procedural Languages and AI In this newsletter we鈥檝e looked at symbolic languages like Mozart, SML, Lisp and Prolog for developing AI applications. These languages are good for AI because they make it easier to model and manipulate the knowledge structures of a particular application domain. They allow the AI developer to more readily create working prototypes and evolve those prototypes as experience with an application grows. If AI is the art and science of making computers do interesting things not in their nature, then these languages are good for AI because they all, to one degree or another, hide programming tasks related to a computer鈥檚 nature such as data typing, memory managment and defining procedural code execution....

 路 5 min

September 2004

Diplomacy Have you ever played Hasbro鈥檚 (was Avalon Hill鈥檚) game Diplomacy? I鈥檝e only played it a few times but found it to be one of the best games I鈥檇 ever played. It requires seven players, each running a European country around World War I. In many ways its a classic war game, where each player has armies that can be deployed and set to attack neighboring countries and/or defend held ground....

 路 9 min

August 2004

The code from last month鈥檚 newsletter is finally available in the download area of www.ainewsletter.com. As always, any and all feedback is welcome. Also, anyone interested in contributing to the newsletter: book reviews, product reviews, overviews of areas of research, collections of good links in a topic area, editorial commentary, introductions, code examples, etc.; should send them to me as well. Applying Network Analysis to Amazon Book References PCAI issue 17....

 路 4 min

July 2004

As work slowed down for the summer, and inspired by the thriving interactive fiction (IF) community detailed in last month鈥檚 newsletter, I decided to spend more time on interactive fiction (IF) tools, so that鈥檚 what this newsletter is about. In one sense, its a specialized application area, but the issues with IF tools apply to other areas of AI as well, such as: pitfalls with 鈥渋ntelligent鈥 interfaces; when to use rules versus when to use objects; and how to augment logic for a particular application area....

 路 31 min

June 2004

Fantasy Games Adventure was the first computer fantasy game. It had all of the elements we see today in Nintendo and Play Station fantasy games, where the computer has a model of an environment and the player manipulates a character in the game, travelling from place to place, encountering various challenges and puzzles along the way, collecting points for challenges met, and in general being entertained by unfolding story line and discovered scenarios....

 路 19 min

May 2004

Genetic Programming (GP) The fun thing about AI is all the biological sorts of terms used to describe cold programming algorithms, starting, of course, with the coining of the phrase 鈥渁rtificial intelligence鈥 to replace the rather boring label 鈥渉euristic programming鈥. Genetic search algorithms follow this proud naming tradition. They are also referred to has hill-climbing search algorithms. (See Jan 2003 newsletter for discussion of genetic search and basketball schedules.) They explore a search space by mutating a given point and seeing if any of the mutations have higher values, in however height is measured, in the search space....

 路 11 min

April 2004

Interactive Web-Based Experts Like all computer programs, expert systems take input, process it, and provide output. For example, an expert system might input symptoms and output a diagnosis; input customer requirements and output a product configuration; or input a robot鈥檚 situation and output an action. In many cases the required inputs can be gathered beforehand and sent to the expert system, which then processes the input and produces the output. This might be the case in a telephone pricing module, where the facts of a particular call are known and input to the system that then applies the correct rules to determine the price for that call....

 路 11 min

March 2004

Notes The diagrams that were supposed to appear in the last two month鈥檚 newsletters didn鈥檛 display on most people鈥檚 systems. The newsletters are archived at an alternate site, www.ainewsletter.com, that has copies of the issues with the pictures. This month鈥檚 newsletter has some further applications of the fuzzy logic system developed in the February newsletter. Contact me to get the the latest version of the fuzzy logic system and the full source for this month鈥檚 examples....

 路 12 min