1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
According to wikipedia (2015), artificial intelligence (AI) is the intelligence exhibited by machines or software. It is also the name of the academic field of study in computer science which studies how to create computers and computer software that are capable of intelligent behavior. Major artificial intelligence researchers and other sources define this field as the study and design of intelligent agents, in which an intelligent agent is a system that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chances of success. John McCarthy, who coined the term as far back as 1955, defines it as the science and engineering of making intelligent machines. Artificial intelligence is a branch of Computer Science concerned with the study and creation of computer systems. Artificial intelligence exhibits some form of intelligence by way of introducing systems that learn new concepts and tasks and also have the ability to reason and draw useful conclusions about the world. Artificial intelligence systems also can understand a natural language or perceive and comprehend a visual scene, and perform other types of feats that require human types of intelligence (Freitas, 1999).
Artificial intelligence research is highly technical and specialized, and is deeply divided into subfields that often fail to communicate with each other. Some of the division is due to social and cultural factors: subfields have grown up around particular institutions and the work of individual researchers (Drexler, 1986).
Artificial intelligence research is also divided by several technical issues. Some subfields focus on the solution of specific problems. Others focus on one of several possible approaches or on the use of a particular tool or towards the accomplishment of particular applications. The central problems (or goals) of artificial intelligence research include reasoning, knowledge, planning, learning, natural language processing (communication), perception and the ability to move and manipulate objects. General intelligence is still among the field’s long-term goals (Bostrom, 2002). Currently popular approaches include statistical methods, computational intelligence and traditional symbolic artificial intelligence. There are a large number of tools used in artificial intelligence, including versions of search and mathematical optimization, logic, methods based on probability and economics, and many others. The artificial intelligence field is interdisciplinary, in which a number of sciences and professions converge, including computer science, mathematics, psychology, linguistics, philosophy and neuroscience, as well as other specialized fields such as artificial psychology (Hanson, 1998).
According to Moravec, (1999), the field was founded on the claim that a central property of humans, intelligence can be so precisely described that a machine can be made to simulate it. This raises philosophical issues about the nature of the mind and the ethics of creating artificial beings endowed with human-like intelligence, issues which have been addressed by myth, fiction and philosophy since antiquity (Kurzweil, 1999). Artificial intelligence has been the subject of tremendous optimism but has also suffered stunning setbacks. Today it has become an essential part of the technology industry, providing the heavy lifting for many of the most challenging problems in computer science (Yudkowsky, 2003). Artificial intelligence also deals with study of ideas to bring into being machines that respond to stimulation consistent with traditional responses from humans, given the human capacity for contemplation, judgment and intention (Vinge, 1993). Each such machine should engage in critical appraisal and selection of differing opinions within itself. Produced by human skill and labor, these machines should conduct themselves in agreement with life, spirit and sensitivity, though in reality, they are imitations. Other researcher has seen artificial intelligence as systems that combine sophisticated hardware and software with elaborate databases and knowledge-based processing models to demonstrate characteristics of effective human decision making. However, the researcher will provide an indebt study into the introduction to artificial intelligence and its application and benefit to human being.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
It is a known fact that the field of artificial intelligence is relatively young (Yudkowsky, 2002). The creation of Artificial Intelligence as an academic discipline can be traced to the 1950s, when scientists and researchers began to consider the possibility of machines processing intellectual capabilities similar to those of human beings. Alan Turing, a British mathematician, first proposed a test to determine whether or not a machine is intelligent. The test later became known as the Turing Test, in which a machine tries to disguise itself as a human being in an imitation game by giving human-like responses to a series of questions. Turing believed that if a machine could make a human being believe that he or she is communicating with another human being, then the machine can be considered (Bostrom, 2002). However, artificial intelligence has been used in a wide range of fields including medical diagnosis, stock trading, robot control, law, remote sensing, scientific discovery and toys. However, many Artificial intelligence applications are not perceived as artificial intelligence (Bostrom, 2002). A lot of cutting edge artificial intelligence has filtered into general applications, often without being called artificial intelligence because once something becomes useful enough and common enough it’s not labeled artificial intelligence anymore,” Nick Bostrom reports. “Many thousands of artificial intelligence applications are deeply embedded in the infrastructure of every industry. In the late 90s and early 21st century, Artificial intelligence technology became widely used as elements of larger systems, but the field is rarely credited for these successes. For example; finance, hospitals and medicines, heavy industries, online and telephone customer service, transportation, telecommunication, toys and games, music, aviation, news, publishing & writing. However, this study seeks to provide an overview of artificial intelligence, its application and use to human being in general (Bostrom, 2002).
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
1. To examine the historical development of artificial intelligence.
2. To find out the application and benefits of artificial intelligence to mankind.
3. To ascertain the prospects of artificial intelligence.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. How was artificial intelligence developed historically?
2. What are the application and benefits of artificial intelligence to mankind?
3. What are the prospects of artificial intelligence?
HO: Artificial intelligence does not benefit human life in any way
HA: Artificial intelligence does not benefit human life in any way
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
This research will be of significance in the following area:
1. It will be of help to stakeholders in various sectors for example health, finance, education, security, engineering, manufacturing, research and technology in understanding the application and benefits of Artificial intelligence to enhance productivity and effectiveness of the sectors.
2. The findings of this research work will also serve as reference for academic endeavor to lecturers and students and also help the public who would want to know about some advantages and disadvantages (if any) of the use of the artificial intelligence.
3. Findings and recommendations from this study will guide the stakeholders in various sector determine the type artificial intelligence to be adopted and also help them identify specific areas where artificial intelligence can be applied.
1.7 SCOPE OF STUDY
This study on application and benefits of artificial intelligence will cover the overview of the historical development of artificial intelligence as a branch of computer science that deals with creating computers and computer software that are capable of intelligent behavior. However, this study will examine the application and benefits of the Artificial intelligence to human life and this research will also consider the future and prospects of artificial intelligence
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
In this research work, the terms defined reflect how the researcher wants them to be understood in the context of this work.
Behaviour- the way in which one acts or conducts oneself, especially towards others.
Artificial- made or produced by human beings rather than occurring naturally, especially as a copy of something natural.
Computer- an electronic device which is capable of receiving information (data) in a particular form and of performing a sequence of operations in accordance with a predetermined but variable set of procedural instructions (program) to produce a result in the form of information or signals.
Intelligence – the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.
Innovation- The process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service that creates value