Artificial Intelligence or AI as it is commonly termed was one of my favorite subject while in college. Inspired by movies like ‘I,Robot’ I used to think that it might be possible to create machines which can think on its own.
No I am not thinking about hardcore AI right now, I am thinking about usage of AI in day today web applications. This is nothing new, one example is, when you go for shopping on some website, after you choose or check a product, it shows you a list of related products. That is some sort of intelligence.
First things first, what do we think intelligence is. Telling 2+2=4? That’s mathematics. Reasoning, analysis, common sense. These can be categorized as intelligence. So can a machine or software or an application reason. Not on its own for sure. It needs someone to code how to reason. A very simple example is lets say I show a sequence of numbers to a human, 1,2,3,4 and then I show 1,3,5,7 and then 1,4,7,10. he would be easily able to understand the pattern and will be able to tell the next in series. But can a machine do the same. Not unless someone code it that way. Does that mean the concept of ‘thinking machines’ would be possible only in fiction?
Coming back to my original point of adding some intelligence to the web applications, what I mean here is an application, smart enough to guess what a user wants from it. Or in simple words, helping user. Shopping cart is a good example as already mentioned. You search for a book on AI and it will show related books. Let’s take the same example in real world. You go to the book shop, ask for a book on AI, the shopkeeper will show you books on AI. And if he is a good salesman, will also suggest the best buy based on his past experience of sales of various AI books. You go next time again ask for the AI books. Third time you go, probability is that even before you ask, he will show you the latest arrivals in AI section. That’s intelligence. This can easily be replicated in web applications.
So think that next time you go to a web site and it just dishes up whatever you need without even asking.