Intelligent Agent

I'm tellin' ya. Touching my actuator tickles. In a good way (I think).

I’ve gone through the videos and quizzes for the Intro to Artificial Intelligence (AI) class and it’s pretty fun and engaging. Sebastian Thrun has done a great job at providing the basics. He actually has the type of voice that smiles (if you can imagine that). I’m catching up and looking forward to Peter Norvig’s lectures and problem solving videos. The first set of video lectures has been about defining an intelligent agent, various applications of AI (i.e., in Medicine, Games, Finance, Robotics, etc.), and AI environments.

Something worth sharing is the definition of an Intelligent Agent. According to Thrun, an intelligent agent (IA) can intuit something about its environment through its sensors. Then, the sensors affecting the IA’s state through its actuators (mechanical device or source of energy). In humans, actuators run the gamut. I’ve oversimplifying here but if you’re an athlete, your actuators are your limbs (i.e., for catching, throwing, skating past your opponent, etc.)? Sounds about right. Nifty, eh?

Hey! How does Data have a beard and bear a striking resemblance to Brian Wilson? That's some advanced finagling of sensors!

Overall, the class is meant to explore the question of how AI make decisions based on data into the sensors then carried out by its actuators. I’m hoping the class will inspire me to get back into playing around with Processing (maybe even C++, okay, maybe not but one day) and looking at New Media arts differently. I’m sure it will.

Okay, I think I need to start watching Star Trek: Next Generation and study up on the character, Data? First question, how the hell is Data so incredibly pasty? I guess being on a ship (in space) doesn’t allow for any kind of work on a tan.

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Author: Dorothy R. Santos

Dorothy R. Santos (b. 1978) is a Filipina-American writer, editor, curator, and educator whose research interests include new media and digital art, activism, artificial intelligence, and biotechnology. Born and raised in San Francisco, California, she holds Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of San Francisco, and received her Master’s degree in Visual and Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts. She serves as one of the editors-in-chief for Hyphen magazine. Her work appears in art21, Art Practical, Daily Serving, Rhizome, Hyperallergic, and SF MOMA's Open Space. She has lectured at the De Young museum, Stanford University, School of Visual Arts, and more. Her essay “Materiality to Machines: Manufacturing the Organic and Hypotheses for Future Imaginings,” was published in The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art and Architecture (2016). She is currently a Yerba Buena Center for the Arts fellow researching the concept of citizenship. She also serves as executive staff for the Bay Area Society for Art & Activism and board member for the SOMArts Cultural Center.

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