What is Artificial Intelligence?

Far from the images that science fiction gives us, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a discipline that focuses on the creation of machines programmed. To perform tasks that require the same intelligence as if they made by human beings, for example, computer programs to play chess or to assess the probability of being infected with COVID-19. The professor of the Faculty of Philosophy and Humanities. Rodrigo Gonzalez, explains how they work and the fundamental role that algorithms play in Artificial Intelligence.

The concept of Artificial Intelligence has been with us at least since the middle of the 20th century, with academia and science fiction mixing in the popular imagination in almost similar ways. Although it would not remain pending in 1956, the term officially ranked at the Dartmouth Conference since before the field had been working under the concept of “machine intelligence.”

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Although there are numerous definitions of Artificial Intelligence, Professor Rodrigo Gonzalez. A member of the Center for Cognitive Studies of the Faculty of Philosophy and Humanities. Explains that the most respected is the one provided by Marvin Minsky. And also, he was co-founder of the AI ​​laboratory of the Institute of Technology of Massachusetts (MIT): “. A discipline that is in charge of creating programmed machines that are capable of doing things that require the same intelligence as if humans made them.”

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Professor Gonzalez explained that AI built on automatic procedures by which intelligent things typical of humans complete. Such as determining whether or not a person infected with COVID-19, applying an algorithm.

“Depending on certain established conditions, a program developed, which is an algorithm. Which in this case makes a diagnosis with the information provided.” It indicates Professor Gonzalez, alluding to a  publication made by researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine. From Mount Sinai (New York), and the Western China Hospital, Sichuan University (China).

What is an algorithm?

Its relationship with AI lies in the automation of processes. “The algorithms work by applying the set of finite rules to the resolution of a problem until the condition. And also, established in this recursive rule  satisfied. Which means that the resolution of the original problem found”, he assured. Applying these principles in the programs of Artificial Intelligence so that they can solve specific problems.

Professor Gonzalez highlights that “the interesting thing with algorithmic information processing. It is that they can give rise to expert systems to solve specific problems. As in the example of China that I mentioned: there, AI used by applying algorithms to detect COVID-19 with computer programs that provide the probability that a person infected through algorithmic procedures, with certain rules that allow the information to remain processed until a result got”.

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In this way, the Artificial Intelligence system starts from parameters such as temperature, cough, or sore throat. To which a series of rules applied successively: “For example, if you have more than 37 fever. If you have it, you go to the other step, which is an acute sore throat, and if you also pass it. You reach the diagnosis, which would be that it is very likely that you have coronavirus. On the other hand, if one of these conditions is not met. The patient does not have an acute sore throat. The program restarts the algorithm and rules out the presence of the disease”.

Thanks to the application of these algorithms, a concept that emerged in mathematics. But used today in fields such as computer science or logic; Professor Gonzalez affirmed that “it is possible to automate procedures to solve complex problems using Artificial Intelligence, such as if they were made by human beings,” opening vast possibilities for future innovations and debates.

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