1. Introduction

In this section, I will give an overview of the lecture.  I will show a brief historical view, followed by the perspective for the future.  I emphasize empathy as a keyword for future research.  Finally, I will give an agenda for the forthcoming lectures.

1. Brief History of Artificial Intelligence

In its history over fifty years, AI has achieved numerous significant contributions to computer science, including heuristic search, knowledge-based systems, natural language processing and pattern processing, planning, machine learning, and data mining.  Heuristic search has allowed us to efficiently use partial knowledge to heuristically solve large-scale ill-formed problems, such as Chess, for which the action sequence to the solution cannot be uniquely determined in the course of problem solving due to the incompleteness of knowledge.  Knowledge-based systems have enabled us to solve problems by explicitly coding program experts’ practice.  Natural language processing and pattern processing have made computers understand what we speak, see, and percept in general.  Planning enables to implement autonomous artifacts that pursue their mission based on a set of given strategies and tactics.  Machine learning permits computers to improve their behavior based on experiences.  Data mining enables computers to discover patterns from a large collection of data.

Some remarkable applications, among others, include:

  • Web intelligence by connecting a huge amount of knowledge and information made available on the net to solve challenging problems.  It rang-es from scientific computing to security informatics.
  • Autonomous intelligent artifacts such as Mars Exploration Rovers that can explore unknown environment of the red planet in pursuit of data collection and scientific discovery.
  • Intelligent prostheses for supplementing or enhancing human capability in physical, cognitive or social dimensions.  This category includes technologies such as advanced safety vehicles that can locate pedestrian in the dark or brain-machine interfaces that can change thought into physical actions.
  • Artist computers that can draw painting or play music by themselves, by simulating the artistic process.  Interactive synthetic characters or artificial pets with emotion / personality models fall in this category.

2. My Personal History of Research

I have been working on natural language dialogue system, natural language understanding system, qualitative reasoning, cooperative knowledge base, conversational informatics and social intelligence design.

3. What is Coming Next?

Technology explosion induced by information explosion will eventually change artifacts into intelligent autonomous agents from which humans can receive services without special training.  Although the introduction of the intelligent autonomous agent paradigm may potentially increase the risk of the technology abuse and responsibility flaw problems, they might be almost resolved by the introduction of the public mediation mechanism.

Unfortunately, the mediated surrogates framework will deteriorate the moral in crisis and overdependence on artifacts problems.  The moral in crisis problem will be escalated, as the surrogates will do anything on behalf of the user and as a result people will lose opportunities to think about morals and practice in the society.  The overdependence on artifact problem will become desperately serious to the degree unrecoverable.  It appears that we have to live with being assisted with artifacts.  Occasionally, the mankind might encounter unprecedented disasters and the computational framework might cease to function as an infrastructure.  That is the time for the mankind to depend on itself.  Substantial portion of technology should be devoted to help the mankind foster the sociality and moral for that time.

4. Toward Empathic Computing

Empathy is a key concept.  Information and communication technology can contribute to enhance empathy among people.   Potential contributions from AI may contribute to creating empathy between humans and machines.

5. Agenda

The agenda of this lecture is shown on the last page on the PPT (also in the home page for this lecture).


is available from here (access limited) (updated at 12:14 October 5th)

Further Readings

  • Bruce G. Buchanan: Timeline: A Brief History of Artificial Intelligence
    A chronology of significant events in the History of AI.
  • Toyoaki Nishida: The Best of AI in Japan — Prologue,in forthcoming AI Magazine feature “Worldwide AI”
    draft (access limited)