CSCI 3202
Artificial Intelligence

Assignment 1

Assigned: Tue Aug 24
Due: Thu Aug 26

To help you gain a better appreciation for the state-of-the-art in AI -- for what is feasible and what AI has achieved to date -- your first assignment is to identify an example of an AI system, describe the system, and discuss its successes and failures.  Select a system that does something interesting and impressive, i.e., the sort of system you would describe to a non-computer-scientist to convince them that CS and AI were valuable areas of study.

Section 1.4 of Russell & Norvig presents some examples of current AI systems.  You should be able to find many others on the web and in technical journals.  Some of the most compelling examples of AI are buried in software, e.g., google uses many clever AI techniques to interpret user queries.

Here are two URLs that you might use to start your search:

Another way to go about your search is to look in technical journals.  Russell's links include many journals.  The best bets are probably:

Machine Learning
Artificial Life
Journal of Machine Learning Research
Artificial Intelligence
AI Magazine
AI Review
IEEE Intelligent Systems
Journal of AI Research

If you are on a campus machine, you can go to and search journal contents and retrieve journal articles electronically.  You may find it more rewarding to browse through the physical journals on the shelves of the library.

What to hand in

You are to write no more than one single-spaced page describing the AI system that you chose.  Your description should be adequate for the reader to understand what the system does.  You should describe what input the system uses (e.g., a camera, written text, etc.) and what output it produces.  You might illustrate with an example of its behavior.  You should describe the range of problems that it can tackle, and also its strengths and limitations.  You may not be able to answer all of these questions for all systems, but give as complete a description and evaluation as you can.  You may include photographs and figures, which won't count toward your one-page limit.

Class presentation

In addition to your one-page write up, plan to give a brief (2-5 minutes) description of the system to your classmates on the assignment due date.  Bring photographs or figures to pass around to the class, if you wish.  Let's keep it simple:  No need for powerpoint presentations.  The goal is for the class to gain an appreciation of the range of AI problems that have been tackled in the past.