Since term the “Artificial Intelligence” was first coined in 1955 by John McCarthy in his proposal for the Dartmouth Conference, but also even before that as reflected in works such that of Alan Turing, there has been a fiery philosophical discussion associated with it. Questions such as “what is it?”, “can it really exist?”, “will it ever surpass human intelligence?”, “how should we refer to it?” and so on have troubled us for years and still continue to do so with undiminished intensity.
Regardless of how each one of us chooses to react to the aforementioned philosophical questions, there is one thing that we can all take for granted. The field that is referred to as artificial, computational or machine intelligence, or simply AI, has now begun to mature. Thus, correctly called intelligent or not, there is a vast list of methodologies, tools and applications that have been developed under the general umbrella of artificial intelligence which have provided practical solutions to difficult real life problems. Moreover, it is clear that, as computing progresses, more and more practical problems will find their solution in research performed in the field of artificial intelligence.
In general, intelligent applications build on the existing rich and proven theoretical background, as well as on ongoing basic research, in order to provide solutions for a wide range of real life problems. Nowadays, the ever expanding abundance of information and computing power enables researchers and users to tackle highly interesting issues for the first time, such as applications providing personalized access and interactivity to multimodal information based on user preferences and semantic concepts or human-machine interface systems utilizing information on the affective state of the user.
The purpose of this book is to provide insights on how today's computer engineers can implement AI in real world applications. Overall, the field of artificial intelligence is extremely broad. In essence, AI has found application, in one way or another, in every aspect of computing and in most aspects of modern life. Consequently, it is not possible to provide a complete review of the field in the framework of a single book, unless if the review is broad rather than deep. In this book we have chosen to present selected current and emerging practical applications of AI, thus allowing for a more detailed presentation of topics.
The book is organized in 4 parts. Part I “General Purpose Applications of AI” focuses on the most “conventional” areas of computational intelligence. On one side, we discuss the application of machine learning technologies and on the other we explore emerging applications of structured knowledge representation approaches. Part II “Intelligent Human-Computer Interaction” discusses the way in which progress in the field of AI has allowed for the improvement of the means that humans use to interact with machines and those that machines use, in turn, to analyze semantics and provide meaningful responses in context. Part III “Intelligent Applications in Signal Processing and eHealth” focuses on the way that intelligence can be incorporated into signal processing, and particularly into medical signal processing, thus allowing for the provision of enhanced medical services. Part IV “Real world AI applications in Computer Engivi neering” concludes the book with references to new and emerging applications of computational intelligence in real life problems.
Finally, all four editors are indebted to the authors who have contributed chapters on there respective fields of expertise and worked hard in order for deadlines to be met and for the overall book to be meaningful and coherent.
Ilias Maglogiannis, Kostas Karpouzis, Manolis Wallace, John Soldatos
May 2007, Athens