What exactly is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

What exactly is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

December 06, 2018

In the tech industry we have been talking about and working with artificial intelligence (AI) for years, but now, as technology has evolved, AI has entered the lives of nearly everyone. No longer is AI the stuff of science-fiction, AI is becoming increasingly common in today's world. … But what exactly is it?

What is AI?
Dictionary at the ready…

In it’s purest explanation: AI is the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings. The term is frequently applied to the project of developing systems endowed with the intellectual processes characteristic of humans, such as the ability to reason, discover meaning, generalise, or learn from experience.

For years, it was thought that computers would never be more powerful than the human brain, but as development has accelerated especially recently, this has proven to be not the case. 

So AI is a new thing, right?

Wrong! The earliest substantial work in the field of artificial intelligence was carried out in 1935 by the British logician and computer pioneer Alan Mathison Turing and the first successful AI program was written in 1951 by Christopher Strachey. By the summer of 1952, his program could play a complete game of checkers at a reasonable speed. The term “artificial intelligence” dates to 1956 and belongs to a Stanford researcher John McCarthy, who coined the term and defined the critical mission of AI as a sub-field of computer science.

So when will I “experience” AI?

The answer to this is that you probably already have!

Siri, Netflix, and Cortana are things many of use of every day and it could be arguably said that it’s evident that they involve AI. For example, Netflix uses AI to make suggestions specifically for the user based on their individual preferences. Besides the more obvious examples, the truth is that AI is all around us. It can be found in cars, lawnmowers, video games, vacuum cleaners, online shopping, medical research and international financial markets – amongst many other examples. 

Stanford researcher John McCarthy said famously said: “As soon as it works, no-one calls it AI anymore.”

What does the future hold for AI?

Well, hold onto your hats!! Approximately, half of the AI community believes computers will be as smart as humans by 2040. There’s no doubt that AI will continue to transform all our lives and we predict for the better. In our next blog, we will share with you our top 5 benefits that AI will bring us in the future… Watch this space!

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