91.420/91.543 Artificial Intelligence, Fall 2014
We will be using the following book:
What is AI?
There are few areas in computer science as broad as artificial intelligence. AI encompasses algorithm design, agents and robots, natural language understanding, expert systems, music and sound, as well as philosophical questions about the nature of consciousness!
One organizing principle across the field is the formalization of real-world problems based on utility functions, and then the use of various techniques to maximize expected utility. Based on this unifying theme, we will study:
Ideas will be developed theoretically and with practical programming challenges using the U.C. Berkeley Pac-Man projects, in which you program a progressive series of challenges inspired by the original Pac-Man arcade game.
These problem sets teach foundational AI concepts, such as informed state-space search, probabilistic inference, and reinforcement learning. These concepts underlie real-world application areas such as natural language processing, computer vision, and robotics (see http://ai.berkeley.edu/project_overview.html).
Coding will be done in Python, which you will learn during the class if you don't know it yet.
A big part of AI is not just knowing a collection of approaches, but understanding which approach is right for which problem. To encourage the development of these skills, there will be a significant semester project where you will apply ideas from the course to a problem of your own choosing.
The textbook, as shown above, is Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach, by Russell and Norvig. The book is comprehensive, is well-written in the most exemplary manner, and has detailed bibliographies for each chapter. It is by far the most popular book used to teach AI, and it is also the best.
The recommended book is the third edition. New and used copies are available at the UML bookstore, or online (3rd edition: alibris; amazon; bookfinder). It would be acceptable to get a used second edition (alibris; amazon; bookfinder). Do not use the first edition.
There are five categories of work that will be assessed. These are:
You will apply the ideas developed in the class in an original software implementation. You may thus connect the ideas of the class with your own interestsmusic, robotics, art, databases, the web, networking, gaming, etc. The learning goal of the project is to have you find some real-world relevance of the ideas in the class.
Because of the high number of enrolled students, projects will be done in teams. Each partner will be responsible for an equal share of the work.
Undergraduate Project Sequence
For undergraduates, 91.420 Artificial Intelligence can be grouped with 91.421 Machine Learning or 91.450 Robotics I to form a course pair.
For graduate students, 91.543 is in Group III, Human-Computer Interaction, Visualization, Robotics and AI.
Collaboration and Academic Integrity Policy
You are welcome to discuss ideas in the class with your peers. However, pair programming or other side-by-side work that involves sharing of code is not allowed. By turning in an assignment, you attest that you have written the new code that it includes. Please be familiar with the university's academic integrity policies: for undergraduates for graduate students
Discussion Group / E-Mail List
We will use Google Groups for announcements and discussion of material outside of class. Join the group by entering your email address in the box below, and following the subsequent confirmation instructions.