Monday, June 25, 2012

Chapters 47-49

Chapter 47 talks about the most recent discussion we had in class known as Virtual Realities and simulations.  Wikipedia defines virtual reality as “an environment that is simulated by a computer.”  Based on the picture in class that professor Strate showed us, virtual reality is like a video game, in that a headpiece is worn showing objects and backgrounds that are not seen in real reality.  Although this type of technology has been around for a few decades, progress with it has not been extremely fast.  The immersion that you are in while using virtual reality makes the experience feel so real.  Many of the uses for virtual reality involve games and role-playing.  The most important part of virtual reality that we discussed in class was the article named “A Rape in Cyberspace.”  Although we did not read it in class, one of my communication professors last semester had us read it.  The debate will most likely never be solved, claiming if it is considered rape if the person in the virtual reality has severe emotional side effects?
     Chapter 48 discusses robots, bots, and agents.  A robot is a hybrid technology containing a computer and an electromechanical mechanism that automatically performs tasks.  Although this seems like a far-fetched idea, robots are more common in households more and more.  One example is the robot vacuum, which vacuums on its own without the help of anyone but for the “on” button.  But the most useful of the robots is used for space exploration.  Instead of sending people into space, robots are completely capable of being sent and are capable of taking many pictures.  A bot is a software agent (proactive and reactive computer software).  Artificial intelligence is used by chatterbots, which stimulate human conversation.  One bif company that has used bots is Google, which is why Google is such a great and successful company.
     Chapter 49 discusses artificial intelligence and expert systems.  AI is the use of computers to automatically perform tasks requiring human intelligence.  AI is also use for sophisticated tasks in which judgment is required.  An example is a program that has been taught to make inferences for a given set of data in a particular problem domain.  The Web is a form of AI because it is a storehouse of information and human knowledge, having over 100 million websites.

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