What Every Engineer Should Know About Artificial Intelligence
Engineers can profit from the revolution in AI research that is changing the ground rules of the profession. AI expert and consultant William Taylor provides a practical explanation of the parts of AI research that are ready for use by anyone with an engineering degree and that can help engineers do their jobs better.
Taylor tours the field of artificial intelligence in a highly readable and engaging manner, outlining in detail how engineers can work with AI. In separate chapters he discusses the three basic programming styles - function-based programming, object-oriented programming, and rulebased programming - as well as the use of Lisp and Prolog. He concludes by offering several suggestions for getting started in the field.
As Taylor defines it, AI is a programming style that has much in common with engineering practice: programs operate on data according to rules in order to accomplish goals. While the term "artificial intelligence" is generally defined as meaning the design of computers to think the way people do, Taylor points out that for engineering purposes it is more accurately defined as a few software ideas that work well enough to be used. And as AI technology matures, computers will be able to provide actual design help. They will, in effect, serve as design apprentices, offering suggestions and handling actual parts of the design.
William A. Taylor is an international consultant on the practical applications of artificial intelligence and has spent several years giving seminars on AI to senior engineers and engineering management.