Andrew Moore, dean of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), says although most people would believe artificial intelligence's (AI) impact on their lives is limited to personal assistants like Siri and novelties such as IBM Watson's appearance on Jeopardy, AI is already making its way into practical industrial and commercial systems.
He notes Watson is a great example of this. Moore's team at CMU is working with IBM to develop Watson's capabilities as a medical data search engine. Moore says CMU researchers are enhancing Watson's natural-language processing abilities so people will be able to ask it questions, such as "'It's been two weeks since my surgery and I still have a rash. Is that normal?", and receive a coherent answer.
However, achieving this capability requires going beyond simple keyword searches, according to Moore. "You actually want to break that question down into its constituent parts to deliver a relevant answer," he says.
Another area in which AI is becoming practical is troubleshooting important software. Moore says one CMU research has used AI systems to uncover bugs in car management software and in the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration's flight collision avoidance program.
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