|Description||Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a branch of computer science concerned with the construction of computer systems that "think." This course introduced the core ideas of AI through the development of programs for "intelligent agents" that inhabit three-dimensional virtual worlds. A high- level simulation and graphics package will be used to provide realistic physics and 3D animation for experiments in intelligent agent design. AI topics to be covered include pattern matching and production systems, heuristic search, genetic algorithms, neural networks, and logic-based approaches. We will also discuss the philosophical foundations of AI and the implications of AI for cognitive science more broadly. Prerequisite: one programming course (in any language)|
|Evaluation Criteria||You will be evaluated on the basis of participation (including weekly demonstrations),
a portfolio of BREVE/steve code, and a retrospective essay that discusses your portfolio
and the relation of the code that it contains to AI concepts. You should demonstrate
through your participation that you have read and thought about the course readings.
You will be expected to present a demonstration of new, running BREVE/steve code, preferably related to the topics covered recently in class, every Tuesday (except for the first Tuesday of the semester). The code that you demonstrate can be a new component of an ongoing project, a new mini-project undertaken just for one week, or anything else as long as it is new, running BREVE/steve code. One suggestion is to start with small exercises and mini-projects at the beginning of the semester and to work up to a larger project (demonstrating new components of the larger project each week) as the semester progresses. This is only a suggestion, however, and you are free to work on large or small projects as you wish. Demos will be strictly limited to 5 minutes, with 1 minute set-up time. You should be certain before class each Tuesday that you can get all of the necessary files in place and begin your demo within 1 minute of the start of your demo time. You should also be certain that you can complete your demo within 5 minutes after setup.
Your code portfolio (and the associated retrospective essay) should demonstrate facility with the BREVE/steve environment/language and engagement with several of the class topics at the implementation level.
Artificial Intelligence: A New Synthesis, by Nils J. Nilsson. San Francisco, CA: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, Inc. 1998. ISBN 1-55860-467-7 (cloth) ISBN 1-55860-535-5 (paper)
Vehicles: Experiments in Synthetic Psychology, by Valentino Braitenberg. MIT Press, 1984. ISBN 0-26252-112-1
Additional readings will be distributed in class or available on reserve.
Films related to the topics covered in class will be shown every Wednesday evening at 8:15 PM in the ASH auditorium. Some of the films will be technical in nature (for example, "Genetic Programming: The Movie"), while others will provide cultural or social perspectives on artificial intelligence (for example, the documentary "Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control," which profiles four men including MIT roboticist Rodney Brooks). Still others will be shown mostly for fun (for example "Pi" and particular episodes of the Twilight Zone and Star Trek), though all of the films will highlight AI themes .
This course will not follow a rigid, pre-specified schedule but will instead be paced to the progress and interests of the students. The basic sequence of topics and readings is presented below but other topics and readings may also be added; changes will be discussed and announced in class.