From the self-understanding, Artificial Intelligence is a technology which helps to automate a workflow with robots. It is equal to systems engineering and every student should learn the topic. The reality is quite different. Artificial Intelligence is not researched at universities because it solves real world problems, but it will escape from the reality. What does that mean? Real world automation has nothing do with cybernetics nor robotics. Any automation problem in a factory can be handled well with meccano like machines. It is possible to construct conveyor for any sort of tasks. Packaging food, sorting products, creating clothings and creating smartphones. Right, Smartphone production is an highly automated task not done by humans or robots but by meccano like machines.
So what exactly is the purpose of teaching Artificial Intelligence in the university? The beginning of AI was called cybernetics. Cybernetics is about the so called control problem. That is a game played ontop of an existing system. In reality no such thing like a control problem is there, it has to invented first. What AI researchers are doing is to invent artificial control problems which can be solved by AI systems. A typical example what AI courses at the university are about is first to create a game, for example Pacman, and then the students have to invent an AI controller which plays the game automatically. The reason why Game AI is used as an example is because games have a lot of control problems. Each game forms a control problem, and the control theory better known as Artificial Intelligence tries to solve this problems.
The surprising fact is, that in real factory no control problems are available. What a food company is doing is not to play games, but they are minimizing any decisions. A process is called fully automated if any sort of decision making process is missing. A packaging machine doesn’t make decision based on input signals, but the machine is putting apples into a box. It is important to understand that both things are different things. Either we can talk about automation in a factory or we can discuss control problems.
Control theory has to do with software, robotics, state-space planning and Artificial Intelligence. Mechanical automation has to do motors, machine design and productivity. Artificial Intelligence is great for motivate students to think, but it is poor in automate anything. In contrast, meccano like machines are great for factory automation and reducing costs but they doesn’t inspire the students.
The sad truth about robotics and artificial Intelligence teached at university level is, that this kind of knowledge is useless in real life. it is not possible to use the robotics from the lab for a concrete task. AI and computers were invented for brainwashing the people. The subject is about pure thinking and solving problems not available in nature. AI is the answer to the entertainment problem. This is a problem for a bored world in which the work is done, and the people are playing games. If we are observing the upraising of Artificial Intelligence since the 1950’s the development was going in parallel to the invention of games. Games are an invention which are useless by default. A game like chess formulates a problem not there outside of chess. It is a world by it’s own. And this is what AI researchers are doing in so called robotics challenges. They are not trying to solving problems like how to rescue people or how to automate a factory, instead the robocup rescue challenge is programming task which is 100% for educational purposes. It is sure, that not a single line of software code written for that competition will ever be used in reality. That means, the problem in Robocup rescue are not highly realistic but they are synthetic. The teams are solving problem not available in real life. They are doing so because they students are programmers, artists, scientists or computer hackers.
What most students are not aware of it, or what they are ignoring is, that no connection is there between a robocup rescue team and a firefighter team in the real world. That means, the robocup students have not attended in real firefigther projects, and real firefigthers are not motivated to visit the robocup challenge. This missing information exchange is not the mistake of individuals or wrong priorities, it is the goal of robocup to create a separate world which has nothing to do with real world. That means, the robocup scenario is highly unrealistic, everybody knows it, and that is the reason why the students are motivated to write sourcecode for their robots.
The joke is, that more advanced robots not invented yet, will not be able to be used in reality. Even the robots in 30 years which are much better in the robocup challenge are not able to rescue real victims in reality. That means, Artificial Intelligence research can make progress without effecting the reality. That means, the firefighters in reality will become the same in 30 years from now, but the AI researched has made large progress. The reason is, that a real rescue mission is not a game and doesn’t contains of control problems which can be solved with software, but a real scenario is about firefighting.