Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the definite goal of understanding intelligence and
building intelligent systems. However, the methods and formalisms used on the way
to this goal are not firmly set, which has resulted in AI consisting of a multitude of
subdisciplines today. The difficulty in an introductory AI course lies in conveying
as many branches as possible without losing too much depth and precision.
Russell and Norvig’s book [RN10] is more or less the standard introduction into
AI. However, since this book has 1,152 pages, and since it is too extensive and
costly for most students, the requirements for writing this book were clear: it should
be an accessible introduction to modern AI for self-study or as the foundation of a
four-hour lecture, with at most 300 pages. The result is in front of you.
In the space of 300 pages, a field as extensive as AI cannot be fully covered.
To avoid turning the book into a table of contents, I have attempted to go into some
depth and to introduce concrete algorithms and applications in each of the following
branches: agents, logic, search, reasoning with uncertainty, machine learning, and
The fields of image processing, fuzzy logic, and natural language processing are
not covered in detail. The field of image processing, which is important for all of
computer science, is a stand-alone discipline with very good textbooks, such as
[GW08]. Natural language processing has a similar status. In recognizing and generating
text and spoken language, methods from logic, probabilistic reasoning, and
neural networks are applied. In this sense this field is part of AI. On the other hand,
computer linguistics is its own extensive branch of computer science and has much
in common with formal languages. In this book we will point to such appropriate
systems in several places, but not give a systematic introduction. For a first introduction
in this field, we refer to Chaps. 22 and 23 in [RN10]. Fuzzy logic, or fuzzy set
theory, has developed into a branch of control theory due to its primary application
in automation technology and is covered in the corresponding books and lectures.
Therefore we will forego an introduction here.