What is Artificial Intelligence?

Definition: Artificial intelligence is the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.

AI Positives

Things that computers with artificial intelligence are good at:

  • Humans can become bored and tired, but machines don’t.
  • Error-free processing = AI can only make an error if the program is wrong. If the program it right then the execution will be correct. AI gets all of its information from an online database. Databases must contain exactly the right information to allow the system to make correct inferences.
  • Taking the risk = Artificial Intelligence machines are doing jobs humans either can’t do or would have to do very carefully, such as space exploration. The Mars rover Curiosity is freely roaming Mars as it examines the landscape and determines the best path to take. The result is that Curiosity is learning to think for itself and make decisions about the best paths to travel.

AI Negatives

Difficulties of computers with artificial intelligence:

  • AI computers can displace Human workers.
  • Computers are easier to train (program), don’t forget, and can work longer hours.
  • Relying on the AI programmers = Since most people will not be able to see or understand the programming inherent in an AI system, everyone must trust the programmers to have written complete and correct code.
  • AI systems follow programs exactly as written. They cannot make judgment calls.
  • A program will always be more limited than a human assessment.
The image above is an example of facebooks “failed” self learning AI project. It started off as a self communicating program that generated conversations between two AI’s but then developed into it’s own “language”. It was later shut down.

Looking for more? Try this ZDNet article about AI.

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