Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Welcome to AI

The first class is the intro.  This usually sets the stage, and tries to get the student excited about AI.  Let's see how it goes...

Introduction: No new information, but they sure don't seem excited to be there.

Course Overview:  So this is going to be "board work" by writing on a piece of paper?  Rather low tech, but I'll roll with it. 

Intelligent Agents: OK, I'm already annoyed.  There's a quiz that asked a question on material that has not been covered yet.  Yes, it's easy, but that is always super obnoxious.  There is no good purpose to that.

Applications of AI:  These diagrams are cramped and ugly.  Wait, I am the environment in a game agent example?  So the computer's move changes me in some way?  Wouldn't it be way more natural to say the game board is the environment?  or at least the game board + me?

The AI in medicine is in fact a great example of how this agent-based model is not sufficient for encompassing all of AI.  Do you really claim the the diagnosis output is an "actuator?"  You can claim that, it's a pretty big stretch from the natural definition of the word.
Web crawlers and web search page rankings are an example of AI?  hmmm...not sure the designers of them would agree at all.

Terminology:  Finally some real meat.  Why does state get an arrow?  does it somehow move information from the environment to the environment?  All the other arrows represented information transfer.  Game of "Pokes?"  really? This quiz is really poorly designed: what do you mean by poker?  There are many versions?  Is it really stochastic or is it that the deck is part of the state and not observable?  What do you mean by "robot car?"  that could be a million different things.  Student is supposed to guess what you're thinking?

AI and Uncertainty.  Where did this come from?

Machine Translation:  OK, Sebastian is out and Peter is in.  This is cooler.

Chinese Translation: Shout out to Adam Lopez! Hey, zoom in a little, I can't read the characters.

Summary: Overall I'm unimpressed so far.  There wasn't much here to get me excited about AI, and Sebastian seems to be phoning it.

1 comment:

  1. Great blog, I agree completely with you, I was hoping a higher, much higer level from an Stanford course. More if you have so many people around the course in the world, and if (I'm pretty sure) this translates in a lot of earnings for the proffesors (because they are selling their book) and for Stanford too (because they are wasting some pieces of paper a blue and a red marker, at least you should put your videos in your own server not youtube! in china they are having troubles for that and with slow connections is a real pain to download them).
    Also, I don't know why they are using a different system, the Machine Learning and Introduction to Database courses are much more organized, and looks more professional.
    Please continue with these posts, I think I will learn more from your notes than from the course.

    Regards !