Artificial intelligence

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the ability of a computer program or a machine to think and learn.[1] It is a field of study which tries to make computers "smart". John McCarthy came up with the name, "Artificial Intelligence" in 1955. Intelligence allows an organism to act in a meaningful way in its environment. It includes the ability to get sensory inputs, and to react to these. Artificial intelligence is also about processing information and about storing knowledge. One of the goals of "artificial intelligence" is to make a machine that behaves in a similar way.

The term intelligence is misleading, here. Alan Turing wrote in 1950 "I propose to consider the question 'can machines think'?"[2] He proposed the question should be changed, from whether a machine "thinks", to "whether or not it is possible for machinery to show intelligent behaviour".[2] Alain Turing also created the Turing test. This is a very general test. If a human cannot tell if at the other end of the line, there is a machine or a human answering questions, the machine is intelligent.

The authors of Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach agree with Turing that AI must be defined in terms of "acting" and not "thinking".[3] However, they are critical that the test compares machines to people. "Aeronautical engineering texts," they wrote, "do not define the goal of their field as making 'machines that fly so exactly like pigeons that they can fool other pigeons.'"[4] AI founder John McCarthy agreed, writing that "Artificial intelligence is not, by definition, simulation of human intelligence".[5]

In general use, the term "artificial intelligence" means a programme which mimics human cognition. At least some of the things we associate with other minds, such as learning and problem solving can be done by computers, though not in the same way as we do.[6] Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define AI as a system’s ability to correctly interpret external data, to learn from such data, and to use those learnings to achieve specific goals and tasks through flexible adaptation.[7]

An ideal (perfect) intelligent machine is a flexible agent which perceives its environment and takes actions to maximize its chance of success at some goal or objective.[8] As machines become increasingly capable, mental faculties once thought to require intelligence are removed from the definition. For example, optical character recognition is no longer regarded as an example of "artificial intelligence": it is just a routine technology.

At present we use the term AI for successfully decoding human speech,[6] competing at a high level in strategic game systems (such as chess and Go), self-driving cars, and interpreting complex data.[9] Some people also consider AI a danger to humanity if it continues to progress at its current pace.[10]

An extreme goal of AI research is to create computer programs that can learn, solve problems, and think logically.[11][12] In practice, however, most applications have picked on problems which computers can do well. Searching databases and doing calculations are things computers do better than people. On the other hand, "perceiving its environment" in any real sense is way beyond present-day computing.

AI involves many different fields like computer science, mathematics, linguistics, psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy. Eventually researchers hope to create a "general artificial intelligence" which can solve many problems instead of focusing on just one. Researchers are also trying to create creative and emotional AI which can possibly empathize or create art. Many approaches and tools have been tried.

Borrowing from the management literature, Kaplan and Haenlein classify artificial intelligence into three different types of AI systems: analytical, human-inspired, and humanized artificial intelligence.[7] Analytical AI has only characteristics consistent with cognitive intelligence generating cognitive representation of the world and using learning based on past experience to inform future decisions. Human-inspired AI has elements from cognitive as well as emotional intelligence, understanding, in addition to cognitive elements, also human emotions considering them in their decision making. Humanized AI shows characteristics of all types of competencies (i.e., cognitive, emotional, and social intelligence), able to be self-conscious and self-aware in interactions with others.[13]

History[change | change source]

AI research really started with a conference at Dartmouth College in 1956. It was a month-long brainstorming session attended by many people with interests in AI. At the conference they wrote programs that were amazing at the time, beating people at checkers or solving word problems. The Department of Defense started giving a lot of money to AI research and labs were created all over the world.

Unfortunately, researchers seriously undervalued how challenging several issues were. They still couldn't offer computers things like emotions or common sense using the techniques they had employed. In a paper on AI, mathematician James Lighthill stated that "no aspect of the discipline has so far seen discoveries generated the huge influence that was previously anticipated." The governments of the US and UK desired to support more profitable initiatives. An "AI winter" in which little research was conducted was brought on by cuts. [14] AI revived again in the 90s and early 2000s with its use in data mining and medical diagnosis. This was possible because of faster computers and focusing on solving more specific problems. In 1997, the chess computer Deep Blue became the first computer program to beat chess world champion Garry Kasparov. Faster computers, advances in deep learning, and access to more data have made AI popular throughout the world.[15] In 2011 IBM Watson beat the top two Jeopardy! players Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings, and in 2016 Google's AlphaGo beat top Go player Lee Sedol 4 out of 5 times.

The idea is perhaps much older. Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709-1751) was a materialist thinker of the Enlightenment. In his work of 1748, L'Homme Machine, he had the idea that both matter and life organized themselves.[16] He is seen as one of the precursors of Darwin's theory of evolution.[17] Today, one field of artificial intelligence, called 'strong artificial intelligence' wants to build a machine that mimics human thought.[18] In contrast to this, weak artificial intelligence is about building a system that can support a human when taking certain decisions. One of the key problems is to make systems that can model uncertainity; most of the time, this is done with probabiliity theory and statistics.

Domains of artificial intelligence[change | change source]

There are different domains of artificial intelligence. Most of these are independent, and research in one domain rarely influences the other domains. Common domains are:

There is a domain of study called artificial life, which also influences artificial intelligence.

Related pages[change | change source]

Books[change | change source]

The two most widely used textbooks in 2023. (See the Open Syllabus).

  • Russell, Stuart J.; Norvig, Peter. (2021). Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach (4th ed.). Hoboken: Pearson. ISBN 978-0134610993. LCCN 20190474.
  • Rich, Elaine; Knight, Kevin; Nair, Shivashankar B (2010). Artificial Intelligence (3rd ed.). New Delhi: Tata McGraw Hill India. ISBN 978-0070087705.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Andreas Kaplan, Artificial Intelligence, Business and Civilization: Our Fate Made in Machines, Routledge, 2022".
  2. 2.0 2.1 Turing (1950), p. 1.
  3. Russell & Norvig (2021), chpt. 2.
  4. Russell & Norvig (2021), p. 3.
  5. Maker (2006).
  6. 6.0 6.1 Russell, Stuart J. & Norvig, Peter 2003. Artificial intelligence: a modern approach. 2nd ed, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-790395-2
  7. 7.0 7.1 Kaplan, Andreas; Haenlein, Michael (January 2019). "Siri, Siri, in my hand: Who's the fairest in the land? On the interpretations, illustrations, and implications of artificial intelligence". Business Horizons. 62 (1): 15–25. doi:10.1016/j.bushor.2018.08.004. S2CID 158433736.
  8. Hutter, Marcus 2005. Universal artificial intelligence. Berlin: Springer. ISBN 978-3-540-22139-5
  9. Nilsson, Nils 1998. Artificial intelligence: a new synthesis. Morgan Kaufmann. ISBN 978-1-55860-467-4
  10. "Stephen Hawking believes AI could be mankind's last accomplishment". BetaNews. 21 October 2016.
  11. Kurzweil, Ray 1999. The age of spiritual machines. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-670-88217-8.
  12. Kurzweil, Ray 2005. The singularity is near. Viking Press
  13. "Artificial Intelligence: More Than a Natural Intelligence?". 16 November 2019.
  14. Bolat, Sarkan. "AI Course". Retrieved 16 November 2021.
  15. Kaplan, Andreas; Haenlein, Michael (2020). "Rulers of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of artificial intelligence". Business Horizons. 63: 37–50. doi:10.1016/j.bushor.2019.09.003. S2CID 211456730.
  16. La Mettrie: Réflexions philosophiques sur l’origine des animaux, 1749 (anonym)
  17. Michel Bottolier: Hommage : De La Mettrie à Darwin Volltext, 11. September 2009 auf Libres Penseurs de France
  18. Nils J. Nilsson: The Quest for Artificial Intelligence. A History of Ideas and Achievements. Cambridge University Press, New York 2009.