Portal:Artificial intelligence

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Four approaches summarize past attempts to define the field:

  • The study of systems that think like humans.
  • The study of systems that think rationally.
  • The study of systems that act like humans.
  • The study of systems that act rationally.

Of these approaches, the former two are considered to be "white-box" approaches because they require our analysis of intelligence to be based on the rationale for the behaviour rather than the behaviour itself. The latter two are considered "black-box" approaches because they operationalize intelligence by measuring performance over a task domain. We prefer the latter two because they allow for quantitative comparisons between systems rather than requiring a qualitative comparison of rationales. We realize that the ultimate performance of a system will depend heavily on the task domain that it is situated in, and this motivates our preference for studying activity (behaviour) rather than thought (rationale).

Although the third approach, (known as cognitive modelling), is of great importance to cognitive scientists, we concern ourselves with the fourth approach. Of the four, this approach allows to consider the performance of a theoretical system that yields the behaviour optimally suited to achieve its goals, given the information available to it.

This approach motivates us to provide a model for our intelligent systems known as the intelligent agent.

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