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The Quest for Artificial Intelligence [Kindle Edition]

Nils J. Nilsson

Kindle-Preis: EUR 23,48 Inkl. MwSt. und kostenloser drahtloser Lieferung über Amazon Whispernet

  • Länge: 578 Seiten
  • Sprache: Englisch
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'… [a] balanced look at what AI has been able to do during its first 50 years of existence. His personal recollections and the rationale behind many decisions, as retold by an insider, make this book a unique contribution, interesting both for the informed and for the general reader. Both kinds of readers can learn a lot from Nilsson's book about the evolution of this now-mature research field. The book is written in a friendly conversational style, without any unnecessary mathematical formalisms, and is richly illustrated with many diagrams that depict representative AI systems and photographs of the many innovators that led to their development.' Fernando Berzal,

Über das Produkt

The definitive history of artificial intelligence (AI), from the dreams of early pioneers to the achievements of modern research. The book includes many diagrams and easy-to-understand descriptions of AI programs that will help the casual reader gain an understanding of how these and other AI systems actually work.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 15648 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 578 Seiten
  • Gleichzeitige Verwendung von Geräten: Bis zu 4 Geräte gleichzeitig, je nach vom Verlag festgelegter Grenze
  • Verlag: Cambridge University Press; Auflage: 1 (12. August 2013)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.0 von 5 Sternen  10 Rezensionen
12 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen An engaging, accessible and definitive history of artificial intelligence 1. Januar 2010
Von Peter E. Hart - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Nils J. Nilsson's book begins with the story of how artificial intelligence originated in 1956 at a Dartmouth summer project that had the goal of "making a machine behave in ways that would be called intelligent if a human were so behaving." It relates how in the fifty-plus years that followed, AI has been the subject of overly-optimistic predictions, academic arguments that its goals are unachievable, funding excesses, and funding droughts. But the underlying reality is that AI has contributed key components to the technology foundations that shaped the modern world, and indeed has transformed our view of machines and of our relation to them.

The algorithms that compute your driving directions, and also compute the paths of characters in video games? They rely on results from AI research on mobile, intelligent robots. Those surprisingly high-quality voice response systems we encounter when we phone a customer-service number? They use results from AI research in speech recognition. The recommender systems ("You might also like") used by many web vendors? They use machine learning methods whose history is described by Nilsson. And AI technology is embedded in a host of less-apparent applications ranging from medical devices to automated securities trading systems.

Nils J. Nilsson's comprehensive account of the evolution of AI covers the field from its inception to recent times. All the major sub-fields of AI receive attention--from game playing to automatic problem solving, from computer vision to speech and language understanding, from expert systems to machine learning and probabilistic reasoning--all these and more are covered.

Nilsson enriches his account by viewing major developments through a multi-faceted prism. He describes AI's challenges, the approaches adopted and the landmark systems in just enough detail to give the reader real insight into the technical substance of the field. He also describes the funding issues and controversies that have swirled around AI since that very first Dartmouth meeting. And he introduces the reader to scores of brilliant, frequently colorful, characters whose contributions and opinions have influenced the course of developments.

For the AI practitioner, this book is a rare example of that often proclaimed, but seldom sighted species, the "essential volume" for your library. Your perspective on AI cannot help but be enhanced; you'll gain an increased appreciation for the time it takes for a good idea to mature and find a place in the world; and you may even be encouraged to revisit nearly-forgotten ideas that have relevance to current research issues.

But the book has appeal for the general reader as well. Nilsson is a masterful teacher and storyteller, and his description of timeless philosophical issues and intellectual challenges are as clear as you will find in as confined a space. Technical approaches are profusely illustrated and diagrammed, but remain accessible to any reader with an active curiosity. The tone of the book is straightforward and conversational, with neither the stuffiness of a self-important academic nor the breeziness of a science popularizer.

Predictions about AI have proven hazardous for 50 years, but I'll make one here: It will be a long time before any writer attempts a sequel to this unique and valuable volume.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen History of a Remarkable Technology 20. August 2010
Von Linda Liebes - Veröffentlicht auf
This is an extremely literate, well written history of the first fifty years of AI by someone who fortuitously came in on the ground floor of this field. Nilsson's perspective is unique and invaluable for anyone interested in broadening their horizons, and in appreciating how many talented and driven individuals have contributed to AI's successes.

As a lay reader, I skipped the notes and many of the technical details and diagrams. I enjoyed the many interesting references scattered through the text. Just to give a flavor of these, in the first chapter alone there are references to Homer's "Iliad", Ovid's "Metamorphosis", The Talmud, opera (Offenbach's "Tales of Hoffman"), and theater, Capek's "R.U.R." I won't mention more of them here but leave them for you to discover, choice morsels all. Although this is a scholarly work, it's accessible to anyone who is interested in what AI is all about.
AI has already become an integral part of our lives. It's used for computing driving directions, interactive computer games, aircraft control, credit card fraud detection, vending machine currency recognition, robot control, speech recognition, and face identification, to name just some of the more prominent examples.

I came away marveling at how far this field has come in 50 years and convinced of the need for more basic research. Most of the important inventions were due to basic research. At the time, the results, to an untrained eye, looked stunningly simple. People thought, "What good is that?" We're now reaping the harvest of those years of early work, and one hopes that, along with applications, basic research in the field will continue.

This book is a significant contribution to the history of science.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen recommended! 16. Juni 2010
Von Steve - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
There is a great deal of good material here. I wonder if the general problem of producing a history of AI would not have been better decomposed into a set of mini-histories each concerned with a particular topic and occupying a single chapter. For example, NLP, machine vision, robotics, knowledge representation, vagaries of public/private financing, major commercial deployments, etc. each could have been addressed in a single chapter. In this book, individual topics pop up again and again in interleaved fashion as the author's single timeline unfolds. This may be a bit disconcerting for readers not already well versed in the field. Other advantages of a modular approach to the history of AI rather than a simple sequential approach are ease of updating the text for future editions and the ability of subject matter experts to quickly find and provide constructive feedback in their areas of expertise.

A minor irritation was the use of URLs in body text rather than confining them to end notes. Most authors would like their books to be timeless; the use of highly fragile URLs in body text seems to contradict this goal.

I suspect that this is the best history of AI we have so far. I recommend this book to anyone interested in the field.
5 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen The most detailed yet misleading history-propaganda of AI, the field that so far has produced much heat and no light 8. Mai 2012
Von Lev Goldfarb - Veröffentlicht auf
Nils Nilsson is indeed one of the pioneers of AI (artificial intelligence), in addition to being the author of several good earlier texts in the field. As always true for this author, the book is carefully written.

The content of this 562-page book is probably the most careful and up-to-date documentation of who did what and when in AI, spiced with the unique personal recollections, and in that sense it is quite useful as a *historical record*.

However, the most serious flaw of the book titled "The Quest for AI"--as with the whole AI enterprise--is the lack of a *critical* evaluation of the 'progress' made so far, which would have been so valuable for the development of this scientifically very unusual, pioneering, endeavor. Worse yet, the book reflects the pervasive underestimation within the AI community of what it would take for the field to succeed. Indeed, the giants of the Scientific Revolution (mainly of the 17th-18th centuries, including Newton) have *intentionally excluded mind from the modern scientific view*, because they understood the enormous challenges involved. So the main missing point is that AI cannot succeed relying on any of the existing formalisms and paradigms, which were not 'designed' to address the mind, but must undertake a truly radical reconstruction of our entire scientific view. In other words, what's wrong with the present AI enterprise is the failure to reject all 'incremental' approaches to the development of the field (Of course, such considerations would have vitiated any claims about the present 'successes' of AI.)

This poor 'tradition' of not adequately evaluating the 'progress' in AI goes back all the way to its inception and can be explained by the fear of loosing funding, which is the primary source of 'progress'. So the main problem with the book is that the author does not get to a serious critical evaluation of the progress in the field in light of the monumental quest to bring the mind into the mainstream scientific view. I find it absolutely impossible to believe that the present haphazard 'progress' in AI will get us to the "promised land". It is enough to have sufficient respect for this unprecedented scientific undertaking in order not to expect that such bridge into the unknown scientific territory can be built incrementally, out of the old pieces. Not only the original leap *must* be radically new, but all the pieces will also have to be new, as was already suggested in the last two pages of the book "The Computer and the Brain" by Von Neumann, one of the most competent in this matter scientists.

We should admit that the actual 'progress' described in the book is mainly due not to any breakthroughs in our understanding of intelligent information processing but to the ubiquitous trends in the miniaturization of hardware and the improvements in software.

To some extent such uncritical orientation of the book is not surprising since the author admits (on p. 515) that "predicting . . . where AI's present momentum will take us is problematic." In other words: Who knows where the next fad will take us?

In addition to 3-4 pages in the last chapter devoted to "Controversies" and "How Do We Get It?", the book does include a small part VI--titled "Entr'acte", from French "entracte", meaning "between the acts"--which has two chapters "Speed Bumps" and "Controversies and Alternative Paradigms". But those 'innocent' controversies have not altered the triumphant march of AI, in which "its basic research workers produced a significant number of powerful new technical tools and sharpened others." (p.347)

Just imagine: you got decent education, you are a bright person, and you want to do AI. Given this and also the desire to survive in an academic environment, you, together with your peers, will have some ideas, implement them as programs, and introduce a few new terms. The critical question is not whether your program can do something that only *appears* to be clever (you are bright enough to accomplish this), but whether your work is AI. How do you distinguish between some clever piece of software and AI? As we know, to be useful such software does not have to be AI at all.

So if you are one of those serious readers who is trying to get some idea of what the intelligent information processing is about, you will be quite disappointed. Not only the book doesn't tell you that *there isn't really any AI yet*, but the development of AI is extensively, but misleadingly, portrayed as making steady progress towards the goal, while actually there has been no substantive progress. (Useful programs are not the prerogative of AI.) To some of us--including one of the founding fathers of AI, Marvin Minsky--it is quite clear that, unfortunately, despite more than adequate human and financial investments over the last half a century, we have barely moved towards the original AI's goal, despite the introduction of zillions of new terms to hide the lack of real progress and to justify the funding. (Some of us, though, do try completely new approaches.)
5.0 von 5 Sternen Amazingly thorough review of the technology that will transform society over the next 30 years 16. April 2014
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Unless we make contact with aliens from another galaxy or figure out how to power electrical grids with dark energy, I think by 2050 we'll look back on the first half of the century and realize that AI was humanity's most significant technological advancement.

Nilsson's book is a thorough survey of many facets of AI with an engaging blend of human stories and technical detail that will satisfy most readers, with hundreds of references that will keep more curious readers busy for years.
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