SOME OF AI’S RECENT ACHIEVEMENTS STAND AS EXTRAORDINARY MILESTONES OF its progress, and others have insinuated themselves almost invisibly into our daily routines. In between these extremes, AI programs have become important tools in science and commerce. These three categories provide a useful way of organizing the state of AI today. First, I’ll look at some of the headline-making systems appearing just before and just after the beginning of the twenty-first century, beginning with AI game-playing programs.
Although getting computers to excel at games, such as chess and checkers, is thought by some to be a somewhat frivolous diversion from more serious work, computer game-playing has served as a laboratory ...