Is it Artificial Intelligence if A File Is Read?

angus_young_acdc used Ask the Experts™
Hey everyone

Just really looking for some clarification, can it still be considered AI if the program reads from files/database?  Is it only algorithms that count as creating AI?
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Intelligence is the ability of an agent to perceive its environment and alter its behavior accordingly to achieve its objective - or so we were told when I studied computer science at university in Edinburgh.   Artificial Intelligence (AI) therefore, is that same behavior being exhibited in a non-natural, ie. man-made system..

It doesn't matter where that inteligence comes from - diagnostic systems for example which arrive at their conclusions by referencing a big database ("rule-based" behavior) are still considered "intelligent" inasmuch as they are gathering information about a problem to arrive at the correct conclusion..

If you think about it, we ourselves are only intelligent because the particular order in which our neurons are connected (a type of database, no?) makes us that way...
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Would you call a human intelligent, if a human did what the program did and also read from a file/database?
What if the human knew what was contained in the  file/database. and you considered the
 files/database to be part of the AI system?
Ozo, surely humans' innate need to refer to things previously written is in itself a sign of intelligence. The issue here isn't whether machines are sentient but rather whether they appear to be intelligent in some way - ie. display that aforementioned ability to adapt to their environment. This can happen at many levels. The Turin test has, to a certain extent, proved that rule-based systems can mimic human intelligence, the sole purpose for which they were designed. When comes the singularity, and machines are sufficiently complex to exhibit levels of intelligence paralleling or exceeding our own, then we'll ask them shall we?
Doesn't the AI need to read and write files if it's going to "persist" over time?

AIs that are purely algorithmic have "weights" they assign to results. These results and these weights, over time, result in some "behavior" or "test".  The AI accepts or rejects inputs/facts/whatever based upon these weights.

Obviously, these weights exist someplace in some data store accessable by the AI.  Most probably RAM. However, I don't think it makes any difference if the data comes from a file or from RAM, or if it's recomputed.

The core of the AI is the Algorithm used to determine which weight/edge/rule to apply.  How it gets there (reading a file, or a database, or whatever) doesn't seem relevant to me.

Files / databases/ tapes/ CDs / RAM.. these are all just places to store data.


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