Magazine article AI Magazine

Guest Editors' Introduction

Magazine article AI Magazine

Guest Editors' Introduction

Article excerpt

We are pleased to publish this special selection of papers from the 2003 Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence Conference (IAAI-03). IAAI seeks out applications of artificial intelligence that either demonstrate new technology or use previously known technology in innovative ways. IAAI particularly seeks out examples of deployments of AI technology that tackle the problems of demonstrating value and planning for long-term deployment.

The five articles we have selected for this special issue are extended versions of papers that appeared in the conference. Two of the articles are deployed applications that have already demonstrated practical value. The remaining three articles are particularly innovative emerging applications. We will briefly outline each of them.

Deployed Applications

Hironori Hiraishi and Fumio Mizoguchi's "A Cellular Telephone-Based Application for Skin-Grading to Support Cosmetic Sales" describes how a company in Japan has built a sales application that door-to-door salespersons in Japan can use in selling cosmetics. The salesperson uses the camera in his or her cell phone to take a picture of a client. The picture is beamed back to an AI application running on fast computers in headquarters. The AI application grades the skin type and quality on several dimensions, and prepares a report the sales-person can view on her cell phone, and use to sell products to the client.

Jill Burstein, Martin Chodorow, and Claudia Leacock ("Criterion Online Essay Evaluation: An Application for Automated Evaluation of Student Essays") present an application that grades student essays, and gives automatic feedback to the students to improve their performance. One of the motivations for the project is that if teachers did not have to grade each essay individually they would be more likely to assign essay homework. Further, if students receive detailed feedback on every essay they write they are more likely to improve as writers. The authors discuss the types of writing feedback that AI agents are good at. It is interesting to speculate about what kind of writing would emerge from a group of students who learned mostly through machine evaluations!

Emerging Applications

Zachary Byers, Michael Dixon, William Smart, and Cinty Grimm ("Say Cheese! Experiences with a Robot Photographer") describe a simple R2D2-shaped robot that uses a sensor system to navigate a crowded room looking for photographs to take. The robot has an algorithm for framing photographs based on the rules used by professional photographers. The robot includes simple navigation rules and a preference to only take good pictures to guide its actions. …

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