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What Are the Applications of Artificial Intelligence in Engineering?

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  • Written By: T. Carrier
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2016
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Artificial intelligence (AI) is the process by which human intelligence is simulated with machines. Intelligence may be thought of as the set of learned memories and ingrained processes that allow human beings to perform tasks and solve problems. Since engineering is concerned with the structure, design, and function of things, artificial intelligence may be used to provide insights and methods into various areas of engineering. The main applications of artificial intelligence in engineering include data mining and logistics. Many disciplines ranging from manufacturing to medicine use AI engineering principles for problem-solving and performing specific tasks.

In many respects, AI and engineering are intertwined. Computers, for example, are sophisticated machines that scientists and everyday individuals use for a wide variety of purposes. Modern high-technology computers may be thought of as an electronic brain of sorts, as they gather, sort, and integrate information from many sources to perform many complex tasks. In addition, engineers often play a strong role in building artificial intelligence machinery and the neural networks that drive this machinery.

One area of interest for artificial intelligence in engineering is information gathering. For example, AI machines can perform data mining in computer science and software engineering. This process involving perusing large electronic databases and searching for patterns within the material. Analyses and reports can be made on the data retrieved from these patterns and connections. Genetic mapping is one area in which such methods are used.

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Processes of artificial intelligence in engineering may handle the flow of data as well. Logistical processes specifically guide how information travels from one area to another. A communications organization might need to send information to other various outlets simultaneously, and this information transaction might be managed through artificial intelligence. AI logistics might also factor into production and distribution of engineering related products like new pharmaceuticals in medical engineering.

Mathematics provides a basic foundation for many engineering principles. Likewise, super-accelerated computation of mathematical equations underlies much artificial intelligence in engineering. AI can thus act as a fast problem-solving tool for engineers when equations are entered into an AI machine. A well-designed AI machine can also store wide scope of knowledge via neural networking. Therefore, it may trace causes and effects, study object relationships, and similar cognitive tasks. All of these abilities are vital in engineering concepts ranging from designing machinery and buildings to studying the chemical processes that sustain life.

Further, artificial intelligence in engineering robotics can help perform tasks that were once the exclusive domain of humans. Engineers may build robot machines with sophisticated neural networks that guide movable attachment devices. For example, robots may aid in manufacturing processes or may be sent to explore areas an ordinary human being is incapable of reaching, such as a narrow cavern. Medical engineers are even fine-tuning artificially intelligent robots that can perform complex surgeries.

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