Intelligent Technology Meets the Real World
of the goals of artificial intelligence is to bridge the gap between the world
of computers and the world of human beings. Enabling information to pass freely
and easily between those two worlds can lead to many benefits. However simple
a concept that may seem to be, in practice it is a difficult feat to accomplish.
As we all know from yelling at our computers, they are not terribly good listeners.
Also, when our computers try to communicate with us, the messages can be so complex
as to be of little use to the average computer user. For example, if you have
ever received an error message and clicked on the "show details" button,
the resulting details look more like a Scrabble game that got out of hand than
a helpful diagnostic of the problem. Therefore, a large hindrance to information
exchange lies in the inability to effectively communicate. There is hope, though.
With artificial intelligence technologies that attempt to emulate human processes,
the wealth of information that can be generated by computers becomes more accessible
One such technology that is bridging
the information gap is neural networks. These networks of interconnected processing
units mimic the way that neurons in the human brain work. Important connections
are emphasized while less relevant connections are downgraded. Neural networks
can recognize patterns and predict possible outcomes just like humans can - but
with the advantage of increased speed and capacity for information. As I discuss
in my article "Neural Nets and Scientific Research: A Match Made in AI Heaven,"
this fact makes neural networks an invaluable tool in facilitating scientific
Another technology is intelligent
searching tools. Searching through vast amounts of information can be daunting,
especially if queries are taken too literally. However, computers, by nature,
take everything literally. They use mathematical algorithms to evaluate problems,
and are thus governed by the rigidity of mathematics. But there are ways to create
more efficient and pertinent information searches, as Elizabeth Thede details
in her article "Indexed vs. Unindexed Searching: From Security Classifications
to Forensics." She presents the differences between indexed and unindexed
searching and discusses how these enable organizations and individuals to search
smarter and faster.
In their article "The
Visual Development of Rule-Based Systems," Charles Langley and Clive Spenser
discuss another problem with successful man/machine communication - how information
is represented. Most people are more likely to understand a concept if it is presented
visually, whether it be through diagrams, demonstrations, or gestures. In terms
of rule-based systems, the information has almost always been presented in a text-based
form. The authors contend that rule-based systems will be more effective if knowledge
is presented in a visual form and they discuss the generation of such a system.
In Terry Hengl's article, "Protégé,
Ontology and Knowledge Acquisition: Knowledge Representation, the Foundation of
Intelligent Systems" he discusses a tool called Protégé which
is designed to create customized knowledge-based applications. It works on the
principle of ontologies which are definitions of concepts in terms of a language
understandable to all parties involved. Ontologies also delineate relations between
individual concepts so as to further define their meanings. This makes sure that
everyone is "on the same page" and that knowledge is fully developed
As always, PC AI's regular
features are back. Test your knowledge of AI terms with the AI-Q crossword puzzle,
learn about news in the artificial intelligence world with "AI and the Net,"
find a book or two to read in "The Bookzone," and discover new products
with the "Product Update" and "Buyer's Guide." We hope you
enjoy this issue of PC AI and learn something about the many intelligent ways
that knowledge is conveyed in the information age.
Layout and Typography
Vice President of Marketing
direct all editorial and advertising
PCAI.TH @ gmail.com
rates are $25 for one year (6 issues); $40 for two years (12 issues)
contents copyright ©2003
by Knowledge Technology, Inc., unless otherwise
noted. Authorization to photocopy items published in PC AI Magazine for internal
or personal use, or the internal or personal use of specific clients is granted
provided that the base fee of $3.00 per copy,
plus $0.25 per page
is paid directly to the Copyright Clearance Center.
*PC AI (ISSN 0894-0711) is published