Technology depends upon discovery, and discovery upon the advancement of technology; that is certainly the case with Computational Intelligence. It is almost a “catch 22” situation. Good science produces theories that are explored through experimentation and the experiments depend upon the theories for direction. The discipline of CI is a new one with ancient roots.
What is Computational Intelligence?
A definition found on a science website says it is the study of the design of “intelligent agents.” That may be confusing, and so the website goes on to define an agent as “ something that acts in an environment.” Agents act. Worms do that, and so do people and thermostats. An intelligent agent is one that acts in a way that is appropriate for the circumstances to achieve a goal. The intelligent agent learns and adapts.
Another name associated with CI is artificial intelligence. The example of intelligent life generally cited is the human, but there is something more intelligent. Organizations contain the sum of skills that make them more intelligent than one individual. The same is true of ants. One ant is probably not very intelligent, but the colony is able to use its skills to find food and construct dwellings. CI devices work much the same way through experimentation with computer systems.
What is the Difference Between AI and CI?
The two terms are basically the same. The primary goal of each is to understand what makes intelligence possible. That study covers intelligence in nature and in artificial systems. Instead of the term “artificial,” many scientists prefer synthetic. The reason is in the inferences made from the terms. “Artificial” denotes something that is not real. “Synthetic” means something that is synthesized but still real in the way that a synthetic pearl is still a pearl, although it is not natural. These agents are synthesized to investigate hypotheses. The primary question is whether reasoning is based on algorithms. Scientists postulate ideas that engineers use to create “artifacts” such as computers that are able to perform many tasks that we generally view as intelligent.
How Is the Science Used ?
Although the primary goal of the science is understanding intelligence and not the construction of intelligent machines, experiments have resulted in some beneficial creations. The website Wise Geek lists robotics as one example. People have been trying to synthesize intelligence since ancient times. A story from the third century BC is about a man who develops an artificial man and takes him to show his king, who is duly impressed. Robot toys have been around since the early part of the twentieth century. The toys moved and, in some cases, responded to commands. The newest robots, however, have sensory devices that allow them not only to respond but to act according to the information they receive through their sensors. Robots are used to detect explosives and then to disarm or explode them, saving human lives. Automatic vacuums learn the dimensions and layouts of a home and then are able to function by themselves. Voice recognition intelligence is used in cell phones and cars, and enables security systems to protect against hackers. The computer learns the voice patterns of the owner or manager and responds to commands that are issued in that pattern.
Although man has been dreaming for centuries about creating synthetic intelligence, the science is young. As scientists learn more from the experiments, they develop more theories . These, in turn, lead to more experiments. The things that can, and no doubt will arise from Computational Intelligence will make the future look vastly different for all of us.