Friday, July 4, 2008

Popular on AI

Continuation. Beginning here.

M-yes, it is not always good, when Arts and Sciences merge into one under a certain discipline. Artificial intelligence - just such a case. While it can take on the law and the cream of modern scientific thought in general.

On the one hand, it is clear that the development of artificial intelligence to a mid-level offers tremendous growth in technology and, consequently, the quality of human life. Then I will continue in the style of television "Maximum":

-- But what we have, when AI will be many times stronger and better when the level reaches its perfection and, through self-embedded algorithms will evolve from here?

-- Where to now be sent to the ship, called "modern technologies"?

Journalists should not blame - it is their bread. And our bread with you - computer technology, as if to understand them well, then bread with butter. Today, "pink" theory with Turing tests and laws Ayzimova we will gradually move on to practice, namely, in a rather popular form the most basic principles and algorithms used in the development of specific systems AI.

What you need to examine AI as a subject?

Artificial intelligence has penetrated deeply into many innovative solutions from leading developers, and the case not only in drawing up trees to find optimal solutions or implementation of reinforcement learning. Specialists from this area now claimed on a number of other reasons. For example, it is clear that programmers are often accustomed to act on the patterns set out, ready algorithms, such as reading a book and knowing that you can only do so and not otherwise. Sometimes they and other options simply do not consider. Although the same programmer AI (AI = AI) in addition to knowledge of the algorithms can evaluate them. For example, how do you think time algorithm and its performance - is the same thing? At first sight it might seem that yes. But in reality very much depends on a number of associated factors. For example, what you need to handle the volume of data that are made for computing, etc. The algorithm, working perfectly, or rather, to cause problems for small flow of incoming information, while increasing its volume can be a real problem, that is very weak. By contrast, very often to be found approach when handling a small amount of data used disproportionately more powerful solutions loaded, standard technology, some of which have not remained idle. This is not as crucial, although recalls shooting guns on the sparrow. That is one of the key concepts is the optimal solution. Of course, one could say about proportionality complexity of the task involved and the resources at its decision, but it is highly conditional. After all, very much depends on the original productions of the task, its correct description, the optimal division of the complex at some simple. And more complex task, the less chance that it would have only a single right decision. And is it possible to promote the decision until the end, if it had a lot of options? And if production made the task itself, or it can be viewed entirely on the other hand? By the way, from setting objectives and subsequent technical task very much depends. As you can see, all quite interesting. Therefore continue.

What must have knowledge base?

Artificial intelligence involved as philosophers, and mathematics. With regard to practical application, then you useful knowledge in the field of higher mathematics at the level of second-rate technical university, the principles of logic and programming. Naturally, welcoming abstract thinking, although the listed disciplines without him nothing, so this is a priori.

Let's do some agents

Virtually any textbook or a book AI contains extensive information on agents. Under them are understood to certain structural modules that can take input from their own sensory system on the basis of this decision independently develop and produce the necessary actions. We will consider the agent as the connection of two key elements: architecture and programs. Under the architecture in this case means a system of implementation of selected actions, that is singer. For example, autonomous driving module (robot-driver) in the DARPA Urban Challenge race must have a car. The program also is responsible for everything else. The agent must have a knowledge base, which it invests developer, and, if necessary, the ability to learn. It can be autonomous or semi, the agent is in a certain environment, which is often referred to as his "embedding" or "submerged". Wednesday - a microcosm of a certain agent, with whom he interacts, receives the necessary data or conditions, produces a reaction. And incoming data can be displayed in full or in partial amount for the development of solutions. In fact, almost always produced the second option, which exacerbates the development of systems AI. The agent is programmed for a specific action, which should be the most rational and useful. And is it possible to take into account all factors? For example, DARPA Urban Challenge race autonomously managed car should stay on the road, roundabout other machines. But… Suddenly, from someone - this agent or an adjacent car - or wheel bursts happen any problem? In fact, the need to find the most common situation. For example, what is the likelihood that the robot to fall meteorite or brick with a neighbouring building? Just a small, but the pothole on the road - something much more frequent.

There is also another problem, as expressed in the fight against pereizbytkom input and / or processed data. For example, if the same robot-driver from DARPA Urban Challenge ran a video camera to record, retain the data in their capacity as "experience" in the form of tables and analyzed them, he at one time would simply not have enough physical memory and resources for analysis. Therefore the main task of developers is minimizing the table with data by creating specially executable code, substituting them. A bit unclear? Remember the multiplication tables on the back of the school notebooks or other tables with square roots, cosine and sine. How many seats they occupy, if considered on symbols and lines? And they actively enjoyed prior to the onset of calculators, in which all computing implemented by several lines of code. In modern sound technology highest quality software tools made semplirovaniya method, that is, note for note recorded in the files pcm-living prototypes. Not such tools at least 4.7 gigabytes of disk space, work with them requires great computing power. But recently a new direction - tools fully modelled mathematically. One such program, containing key algorithms for zvukoizvlecheniyu taking into account all the nuances of live performance, took 15 MB! In the film industry distributed psychoacoustics, that is a whole discipline, which studies human perception. According to her, to show the same rain, no need to arrange a loud "sound around" and, moreover, poured water rights from above. Suffice it to reproduce the noise only hint of rain, and the very picture of completeness to the perception people dostroit own. That is, we have such an algorithm is a priori, we can draw conclusions, guided by the minimum input data. What agent? Have a table with many different sounds of rain recorded for comparison with data coming in? No, much easier if it will be recorded sound formula rain at the level of code. Here are just that and is a key element in building systems AI.

What are software agents

To begin with talk about refleksnyh agents. As is clear from their titles, these modules immediately responsive to the action of certain conditions, primitives. Basically, they emit two types:

. Easy. They do not store any data, and their main task - a reaction to specific current event recorded. For example, involved a traffic light to red - the robot-driver stopped. Incidentally, this is called simple II, and AI programmers in games shutlivo say: "if… then…". As you can imagine, the event should be observed.

. Based on the model of the world. Mainly agent takes into account the current state of his entourage (peace), and he "knows" the consequences of their actions. Under the current state of the environment necessary to understand the specific situation for the moment - for example, some machine decided to overtake the robot-driver. Accordingly, it is to him is fast approaching. He analyzes the situation around. Under the "consequences of their
Action "in this case understood that the team turning avtonomnoupravlyaemy car will move to another number - the program knows about it beforehand - but if it goes the other machine, there could be an accident. That is, in this case we are talking about a few lines of "if… then… else…" And there is some element predictions of further development of the situation. There are also more developed, conventional agents. Among them are key:

. Based on the goal. In this case, all quite simple: there is a goal that you want to reach for what you need to make the best decision. That is the key word in this case will be search and planning. Unlike refleksnyh agents, this type of thinking: "but what if?", Perebiraya solutions. That is, in every situation, he behaves in many ways, though set to the optimal option. For example, if the robot-driver must arrive at a particular destination, he selects the shortest way.

. Based on the utility. In this version there is, above all, on the option, which provides several objectives that could be raised as clearly - for example, endpoints route - and not quite - for example, safety and speed of passing the route of his passing. Agent independently assess the exhibits, choosing the most preferred options. For example, if you stay on a rapid route, it is not safe, therefore, until the final destination can and does not get there. In terms of usefulness better safe option. But if it did not meet in time, it was necessary to find a compromise.

And last on our list of agents - the students. Structurally, they include four components: the critic, generator problems, learning and productive. The latter two are key. Under the productive means everything that we previously thought agents (any of the four types). Critics element oversees its work and compares with production standards, estimates he sends teach. This component, in turn, produces a decision that it must improve productivity to improve its quality or subject to a bad evaluation. A generator problems, in turn, gives problems for solutions. To have been more understandable… For example, we need the engine on automatic proof of the theory. Either we need to "inflated" artificial intelligence robot-driver.

Of course, the option with the four components - this is only one possible in the application. Techniques for training now there are several. And in this case, technology is at a level that is not productive component "pereuchivaetsya", but simply replaced by more sophisticated. That is, with the help alter the rights.

Bridge completion

In fact, the very notion of agents blurry, as, in principle, and the definition of artificial intelligence. Most often, reading books about agents, you can meet confusion related to the macro and micro levels. That is, under the agent can be understood "brain" robot, a program in general - Option 1. As well as a small software module that handles the events transmitted from one of the sensors, or simply responsible for a certain stage of computing - Option 2. While the very notion very convenient to use.

To be continued ...

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Unified communication: a new link for business

The term "Unified Communications" appeared quite recently, but already evident: it is defining a new trend in the development of custom telecommunications. With regard to home users is already well known service Triple Play (data transmission services, voice and video on the same Carrier Networks, as an option - Multiple Play). In addition, a number of principles "unified communications" for private PC users are trying to realize the framers of the latest versions of the most popular Communicator - ICQ. As for corporate users, it is not all so simple and unambiguous. On the "unified communications" in the segment of corporate communications there is no common understanding - that they must include themselves in and what business functions to provide. But we do try to answer some questions. Namely: What benefits of "unified communications"? How do they put into practice now? As with these things in the U.S., Europe, Russia, Belarus? And start from the end.

Belarus: neopyt

Non-standard, "advanced" telecommunications solutions for businesses in Belarus are still rarely go beyond the western experience 10-15 - years ago. Previously, sometimes something interesting offering Internet providers, then they were joined by cellular operators, but still more isolated decisions was not the case for many… Suddenly, the situation began to change national carrier "Beltelecom". "Aligned communication" from "Beltelekoma" (already named his own "Universal Mail") announced in March this year and implemented on the basis of fixed telephony. For the monopolist is indeed very convenient (especially technologically), but as for the consumer?

Well, look that spoke of "Universal mail" journalists Head of Information Technology RUP "Beltelecom" Vladimir Ptashnik. According to him, "Universal Mail" - a combination of PCs, mobile and fixed telephone line. That is, simply, "Universal Mail" gathers together information flows from different devices/communication lines and concentrating them in one universal mailbox. Then they can be redirected at virtually any device - for example, listen to messages by phone using speech synthesis technology. Universal mailbox created on the issue of fixed phone subscribers (it is understandable that his number and address of the mail there). This box becomes a hub of electronic communications (e-mail), voice messages (voice mail), fax, SMS. And, of course, incidentally provided a number of services. As a result, for example, for small and medium businesses produced noticeable savings devices and lines of communication. And all this - for a very reasonable fee. True, yet not know what the commercial prospects of the service. Just like then, how many people or organizations have already become subscribers of "Universal Mail".

Looking from the West

In the West, "uniform communication" refers to several different. There, they are in full compliance with the laws of the market appeared at a time when the number of communications surrounding sideltsa office, has become a truly great. This stationary phone / fax, cellular (several times), Wi-Fi-device (and in the future - and WiMAX), electronic and voice mail on the desktop or notebook PC, Skype, IM-many applications… In doing so, in most cases it will start the communication and ensure the development of most business processes in the company. As specialists say, the idea of unified communications for the first time in its current understanding translated into concrete products in 2006. It was then that the market appeared platform Cisco Unified Communications, which brings together business applications, mobile solutions, IP-telephony and other communication devices. New immediately became fashionable, and the "unified communications" - mainly trend telecommunications industry. After a few months, Microsoft announced the plan to develop products in this new market segment. Already on the market later appeared platform Microsoft Unified Communications - the offspring of companies Nortel and CIFT. Initially, analysts were expecting tough competition between IT-giants. But the market was so great that industry leaders chose not to start competition, and conclude an agreement on strategic partnership. Now all the products produced by Cisco, mutually integrated with Microsoft applications and Apple Macintosh. The nearest plans of corporations - further integration of its systems "unified communications". The point is that, apart from large corporations to create platforms for "unified communications" work and other companies pomelche (among them - China's Lenovo, Huawei and ZTE). But leadership is still firmly holding the pioneers: Cisco in an alliance with IBM and Microsoft.

Savings, or much more for the same money

But why suddenly "unified communications" have become so vostrebovanny in business? The easiest (at first glance) answer: not spent easier for dial-up or posting to all available modes of communication required at this time employee or business partner. For example, a subscriber, initiating the call, calls on a single number (or from a PC appeals to intrasaytu), and intellectual communication has to choose the best way to achieve the goal. There is no principled importance, if this is a corporate telephone line, mobile phone, SMS-message, e-m ail or IM-message, call on Skype… Subscriber no need to move all these options - the system will do it for them automatically. In doing so, not least, all information including voice calls are stored in the archive system and may be available a limited number of employees depending on their level of access. Overall, just what is required large corporation or a serious state structure.

The first and main buyers of "unified communications" have become a company with a geographically distributed structure. Such internal services, such as quick access to any information unit regardless of its location, the possibility of organizing a videoconference, working together with the documents - all of which combines remote offices and individual staff in a single corporate information field. Robert Eydzhi, head of Cisco Systems in Russia and CIS countries, so the situation commented: "The use of unified communications that can achieve geographical independence, to integrate communications with business processes, streamline operations and increase productivity and profitability of business. Services unified communications create the preconditions for increasing the productivity of each employee company. I get the opportunity to accelerate decision-making processes and enter new markets, and optimize work together in virtual working groups ". Many experts consider the "unified communications" as a new phase in the evolution of IP-communications. Indeed, in ongoing projects currently used technologies such as Session Initiation Protocol, monitoring presence, as well as mobile solutions to simplify and unify all forms of communication irrespective of the place, time or device. The link between users may be exercised by any means, regardless of access devices used. This can be fixed, Internet, cable, satellite, mobile networks.

For example, according to research Yankee Group, the introduction of the enterprise (if the company has branches and offices) alone IP-telephony may give up to 40% savings in TCO annually. And according to the Accenture company lowered the cost of operation by 20-40% due to cheap voice network and reduce costs related to the support of two independent data and voice networks. According to the company Cisco, in the use of corporate IP-telephony cost of internal calls can be reduced virtually to zero, and the cost of external reduced to 10% of the original. While this is certainly exaggerated - in life inevitably encounter any obstacles, entailing additional costs. An important feature of "unified communications" - function display presence (Presence). With the help of Presence all staff at any given time could know on the spot whether the other officer, and on what channels available. In addition, any subscriber can set the preferred type of connection - for example, via mobile phone or laptop. The system is the wish of the subscriber may also carry sorting incoming calls - for example, make a list of trusted subscribers (on the principle of "always available") and/or "black list". Those and other sorts as for any of the existing modes of communication. In general, imagine the imagination of developers, multiplied by fantasy users. Naturally (and this is what usually started developers), a network of technology-"unified communications" provide an opportunity to organize as ordinary voice conference or a conference with expanded opportunities ranging from communications and video-finishing joint work on documents. Multimedia meeting in real time convenient especially when dealing with branches and employees working remotely.

View from Russia

The Russian market "unified communications" are just at the beginning of its filling. So far, it did almost the only serious player of international class - the company Cisco Systems. Among the major Russian clients - different call-centres, as well as companies and banks with extensive network of branches.

The Russian representation of Cisco Systems, promoting technology "unified communications", are some examples. One such example in which the Unified Communications technology from Cisco Systems was chosen as the basis of technical solutions, became a project to build a unified information network for large industrial enterprises. As businesses become necessary to introduce advanced technological solutions for organizing the transport network and the modernization of telephone network with the subsequent merger of these structures in the overall environment. At the time of a problem the company consisted of nine individual sites. The main objectives of modernization, ozvuchennye customer, were to help manage production and business processes in general, to protect confidential data, connect mobile users and reduce transaction costs to support the information structure. The implementation of the project began with what engineers Cisco partner in Russia jointly with T-specialists I had a technical audit of the available information structure. Based on data obtained and analyzed the goals, specialists partner Cisco offered a technical solution, and then spent a full cycle of building a turnkey network. Key also became the following points. First, specially for this company has developed a mobile configuration, which allows you to quickly provide high-quality and reliable communications between the four mobile offices and headquarters.

This allows the top managers of companies to contact any of the holding company, in whatever remote location they are. Secondly, the management of all modernized network is made from the headquarters company - there is no need to tehpersonala content on sites that markedly reduces transaction costs. As the company has distributed structure, the customer has put forward tough conditions in the area informbezopasnosti. Artists had to use the equipment Cisco Systems, which can ensure the protection of confidential information transmitted on the open (leased) channels through encryption algorithms DES, 3DES or AES. Realized exchange solution allows normal traffic, to voice and video, and also supports video-link in the mode of "point-to-point". In another notable project, which was often told in the Russian representation of Cisco Systems, to all the above were added support for Wi-Fi, technology Dense Multipoint, enforcing politician quality of service (QoS) as well as VPN network infrastructure company's main office. To ensure communication officers who are "under review", the technology used SSL VPN, which allows employees to connect to the network from anywhere in the world without the use preinstalled client software. Mobile employees enjoy the same data transmission services, IP-telephony, video conferencing, as in their workplace. In addition, it was originally provided for the further expansion and modernization of the corporate network. Sam order provides for the creation of a single multiservice network for data transmission, voice and video into one large construction company. But examples introduction of the "unified communications" - is the prerogative of wealthy companies. True, there are already cases where technology Unified Communications (both in Russia and in Belarus) try to introduce a host of small and medium enterprise business. And, of course, pay as little as possible or even do their own IT-services professionals. With this goes, to provide easy. Earnings before ridiculous. But this is quite another story...

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