Q COSTA RICA – A young Costa Rican graduate student is developing unique research into modeling artificial intelligence.
He presented his work at the round table “Practical Use of RUDN University Undergraduates’ and Graduates’ Research Findings” that took place as part of the International RUDN University press club at the end of December 2016.
RUDN University is the world’s only multinational learning institution that provides undergraduate and graduate education in a range of sciences to students from 152 countries. Research by young scientists from Asia, Africa and Latin America influences development of science overall and finds practical use.
Esteban Azofeifa, is a graduate student of the physics, math and natural sciences department of the Informational technology (TEC) faculty in Costa Rica. His advanced degree work is entitled “Development of models for presenting structural-dynamic knowledge in multi-agent systems.”
Purpose of this work is to resolve a number of issues connected to development of artificial intelligence. Efforts to create computers comparable to a human brain have been undergoing for several decades. Scientists have been working on developing a machine with information processing capabilities similar to those of a human. Currently, artificial intelligence works according to a rigid program, unable to adapt like a human to changes, make decisions under vaguely defined conditions, select among options that will generate clear results only in the future.
Despite the fact that “artificial brain” research is continuing, it is unclear where artificial intelligence ends and human intelligence starts. It’s a vague concept, open to debate. Questions arise as to what exactly artificial intelligence is, how dangerous development of that area is, whether it will benefit humanity. As it turns out, artificial intelligence is not what people commonly think it is.
My research is called “Development of models for presenting structural-dynamic knowledge in multi-agent systems”, said the young scientist from Costa Rica. – We must understand that artificial intelligence is not a “robot with brains”, as commonly thought, but a powerful, “smart” computer that can expand beyond the framework of its programmed structure.
“This research can change the life of humanity for the better. My dissertation is covering the development of thinking processes that a human, an organization or a robot (all named an agent), can use to communicate with other agents. Difficulties are encountered by the fact that the schemes are not fixed, but rather change over time,” stated Azofeita.
Esteban Azofeifa is certain that artificial intelligence development will solve problems in many areas, problems like ambiguous data or contradictory texts. If a human can endow a device with intelligence, the device can solve problems, find and resolve contradictions. The young Costa Rican scientist does not share the view of many opponents of artificial intelligence from Silicone Valley who believe that it is an existential threat.
“Artificial intelligence is an instrument for studying humans and society they inhabit,” believes Esteba. “Multiagent systems provide an opportunity to understand humans and human mentality. I selected this topic because I believe that the current understanding of systems and structures is incorrect.”
In his research the RUDN University graduate student analyzes human thinking processes based on time and conditions and develops similar algorithms for artificial intelligence. Intermediate results of research include development of procedures and knowledge for finding correct sequence of processes. As an example, one can point out the Deep Blue supercomputer that defeated the world chess champion, having calculated the maximum number of possible moves of the opponent in a very short time.
The same principle can be applied to medicine and other fields.
“Interest for interdisciplinary research is growing,” saidEsteban Azofeifa. “This means that, eventually, everything will merge. Soon, all borders and differences will converge at one point. Science will start resembling philosophy, philosophy will resemble science, religion will resemble art, art will resemble religion. This process will start with multiagent systems.”
Esteban Azofeifa is continuing his research. His masters degree dissertation is entitled “Development of expert systems and implementation of logical mechanisms for work automation.” The RUDN University graduate student can continue his research in any country, any multinational company that is developing a “knowledge cloud” artificial intelligence, companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft.
From the RUDN University International Press Club:
Moscow – December 21, 2016 – Graduate students of RUDN University from Cuba, Costa Rica, Nigeria and Russia, as part of the International RUDN University press club, discussed with media representatives practical implications of their scientific research in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Yarelys Herrera Diaz, a Cuban graduate student of the Agro-Technological Institute, is conducting research on the topic “Сharacterization of microbial groups associated to coffee culture (Сoffea spp.) and their potentials in the stimulation of the plant growth”. According to Yarelys, one of the causes of global pollution is usage of mineral-based fertilizers and poisonous chemicals in agriculture. To solve this problem, many countries use the technology of effective microorganisms: in Asia – in Thailand, Malasia, Indonesia, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, China; in South America – in Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Nicaragua, Mexico. Dissertation of Yarelys Herrera Diaz is, for the first time, focusing on the topic of using effective microorganisms in Cuban agriculture. In practice, results of this work can be implemented soon because use of nitrogen-fixing bacteria does not require large investments. As of now, theoretical part of her work is done and field research is about to commence. As a result, both effectiveness of coffee cultivation and ecology are expected to improve. Additionally, this technology is easy to implement and does not demand large investments. According to this graduate student of RUDN University, two years has been invested into this research.
Joshua Orabiyi from Nigeria is a student at the Philological Faculty. His topic is “Reflection of Nigerian Reality in Russian Media” and he believes that the main goal is to make sure Nigerian events are truthfully covered in Russian media. The young scientist is concerned that a biased coverage of Nigeria can adversely affect how the country is perceived in Russia. Nigeria and Russia have developed deep ties: many Russian companies have employees stationed there (Lukoil, RUSAL, Gazprom), Russian professionals are working as consultants for numerous production, agriculture and defense enterprises. Media affects how this cooperation is perceived. Joshua Orabiyi further noted that the African continent receives just 1% of global scientific coverage while it houses 12% of the world’s population.
Peter Sokov, graduate student of the RUDN University Institute of Medicine, researches the mechanisms of effectiveness of intraosseous blocade to cure pains. A lively discussion developed around the topic of technology’s costs and its potential usage in Asia and Africa. The researcher claims that the technology does not require large investments and is easy to implement anywhere. In fact, it has been implemented in Russia, with promising results.
Dissertation of Esteban Azofeifa (Esteban Josué Azofeifa Gómez) is named “Development of structural dynamic knowledge representation models in multi-agent systems” and focuses on solving a number of important questions related to artificial intelligence, a technology the young scientist believes can improve life on the planet. Artificial intelligence is not a «robot with brains», a powerful computer limited by its software, as is commonly considered. For example, Deep Blue supercomputer that defeated the world chess champion cannot be used in medicine. Though many Silicone Valley luminaries like Elon Musk claim that artificial intelligence is an existential threat, Esteban Azofeifa believes it can solve a range of modern problems, problems like data ambiguities and textual contradictions. If you can endow a device with intelligence, it will find and eliminate ambiguities and contradictions. Esteban Azofeifa can continue his work in any country or work for a multi-national company.
Undergraduate and graduate students of RUDN University’s various faculties further noted the wide range of opportunities to receive a classic education that the university offers. For example, medical students receive instructions in physics from lecturers of the Faculty of Science. Young scientists also noted the benefits of the University’s multi-cultural exchange and expressed willingness to further work on promoting their research, improve lives all over the planet.
About RUDN University
RUDN University is a multi-disciplinary Higher Education Institution, bringing together more than 30000 undergraduate and graduate students, as well as interns from 154 countries. National and ethnic diversity is one of the distinctive features of the University. There are several subdivisions providing qualitative academic training at all levels, such as bachelor, master and doctoral programs and internships in 5 faculties, 11 institutions and 1 academy. More than 130 Joint Degree programs are provided by wide range of leading partner universities from Great Britain, France, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Germany, and China. 25 undergraduate and graduate degree programs achieved International accreditation. Almost 50 programs are provided in English language. There is an opportunity for all students to choose from 12 foreign languages and receive an additional degree certificate in Translation Studies. Graduates will get standard European supplement to Degree Certificate scored in Trans-European system of credits (ECTS).
• Number of educational programs for higher education (RUDN University only, without branches) – 467
• Foreign language programs (English, Spanish) – 49
• Quantity of joint educational programs with universities partners (double diplomas, inclusive education) with partner universities – 130
• Additional education
• Quantity of additional education programs – 1600
• Number of participants annually involved in additional educational programs – about 20 000
• Total number involved in all types of programs – more than 30 000 people
• Total amount of foreign students – more than 7 500 people
• More than 8000 students from 154 countries live in RUDN University hostels