For millennia, "from Aristotle to almost yesterday," the great problems of philosophy have all been about people: questions of epistemology and philosophy of mind have concerned human capacities and limitations. Still, say the editors of Thinking about Android Epistemology, there should be theories about other sorts of minds, other ways that physical systems can be organized to produce knowledge and competence.
Artificial life, or a-life, is an interdisciplinary science focused on artificial systems that mimic the properties of living systems. In the 1990s, new media artists began appropriating and adapting the techniques of a-life science to create a-life art; Mitchell Whitelaw's Metacreation is the first detailed critical account of this new field of creative practice.
Evolutionary computation, the use of evolutionary systems as computational processes for solving complex problems, is a tool used by computer scientists and engineers who want to harness the power of evolution to build useful new artifacts, by biologists interested in developing and testing better models of natural evolutionary systems, and by artificial life scientists for designing and implementing new artificial evolutionary worlds. In this clear and comprehensive introduction to the field, Kenneth De Jong presents an integrated view of the state of the art in evolutionary computation.
In What Is Thought? Eric Baum proposes a computational explanation of thought. Just as Erwin Schrodinger in his classic 1944 work What Is Life? argued ten years before the discovery of DNA that life must be explainable at a fundamental level by physics and chemistry, Baum contends that the present-day inability of computer science to explain thought and meaning is no reason to doubt there can be such an explanation.
Uncertainty is a fundamental and unavoidable feature of daily life; in order to deal with uncertaintly intelligently, we need to be able to represent it and reason about it. In this book, Joseph Halpern examines formal ways of representing uncertainty and considers various logics for reasoning about it.
Autonomous robots are intelligent machines capable of performing tasks in the world by themselves, without explicit human control. Examples range from autonomous helicopters to Roomba, the robot vacuum cleaner. In this book, George Bekey offers an introduction to the science and practice of autonomous robots that can be used both in the classroom and as a reference for industry professionals.
Our hero is Turing, an interactive tutoring program and namesake (or virtual emanation?) of Alan Turing, World War II code breaker and father of computer science. In this unusual novel, Turing's idiosyncratic version of intellectual history from a computational point of view unfolds in tandem with the story of a love affair involving Ethel, a successful computer executive, Alexandros, a melancholy archaeologist, and Ian, a charismatic hacker.
As the World Wide Web continues to expand, it becomes increasingly difficult for users to obtain information efficiently. Because most search engines read format languages such as HTML or SGML, search results reflect formatting tags more than actual page content, which is expressed in natural language.
Believing that the enterprise of constructing "artificial intelligence" transcends the bounds of any one discipline, the editors of Mechanical Bodies, Computational Minds have brought together researchers in AI and scholars in the humanities to reexamine the fundamental assumptions of both areas.
Question answering systems, which provide natural language responses to natural language queries, are the subject of rapidly advancing research encompassing both academic study and commercial applications, the most well-known of which is the search engine Ask Jeeves. Question answering draws on different fields and technologies, including natural language processing, information retrieval, explanation generation, and human computer interaction.