Cool! Many of the problems I've worked with have been (provably) NP-hard. Of course, the first thing you learn as an algorithms guy in the industry is that NP-hard problems are not insurmountable: typically the instances of the problem which actually show up are easy
(in some appropriate sense), and a good heuristic handles most of them quite well (although not optimally).
I designed and coded some heuristics to speed up such searches. Does that make my work "an example of applied AI"? Or is it just a solution to a practical problem?
Perl's regexp pattern matching is NP-hard (I believe Abigail-II wrote about this very topic)
. But ingenious heuristics (coupled with occasional "better" choices of regexps)
make Perl's regexp matcher indecently fast for most practical applications. Is the Perl regexp matcher "an example of applied AI
"? Or is it just a solution to a practical problem?
Ask yourself this: Are these programs displaying anything like intelligent behaviour? Or are they just glorified adding machines?
Once AI becomes applied, I'll start believing in it. For the time being, the burden of proof is upon its proponents.