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Reasons for Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence

In this article, we are going to study about the various reasons which are responsible for uncertainty in the decisions made either by humans or computer-based agents. We will study them all in detail.
Submitted by Monika Sharma, on June 08, 2019

As we already know that uncertainty arises when we are not 100 percent sure about the outcome of the decisions. This mostly happens in those cases where the conditions are neither completely true nor completely false.

When talking about Artificial Intelligence, an agent faces uncertainty in decision making when it tries to perceive the environment for information. Because of this, the agent gets wrong or incomplete data which can affect the results drawn by the agent. This uncertainty is faced by the agents due to the following reasons:

Partially observable environment: The entire environment is not always in reach of the agent. There are some parts of the environment which are out of the reach of the agent and hence they are left unobserved. So, the decisions that the agent makes do not include the information from these areas and hence, the result drawn may vary form the actual case.

Dynamic Environment: As we all know that the environment is dynamic, i.e. there are always some changes that keep taking place in the environment. So, the decision or calculations made at any instant may not be the same after some time due to the changes that have occurred in the surroundings by that time. So, if the observations made at any instance are considered later, then there can be an ambiguity in the decision making.

Incomplete knowledge of the agent: If the agent has incomplete knowledge or insufficient knowledge about anything, then it cannot produce correct results because the agent itself does not know about the situation and the way in which the situation is to be handled.

Inaccessible areas in the environment: There are areas in the environment which are observable, but not in reach of the agent to access. In such situations. The observation made is correct, but the as an agent cannot act on these parts of the environment, these parts will remain unchanged by the actions of the agent. This will not affect the current decision but can affect the estimations made by the agent in the future.






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