LeoGlossary: Artificial Intelligence

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There are a number of definitions that are being utilized to describe what is taking place. One that seems to really fit was by John McCarthy put forth in a paper way back in 2004.

It is the science and engineering of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs. It is related to the similar task of using computers to understand human intelligence, but AI does not have to confine itself to methods that are biologically observable

This brings up the question of what is intelligence?

Here is the answer provided in that paper:

Intelligence is the computational part of the ability to achieve goals in the world. Varying kinds and degrees of intelligence occur in people, many animals and some machines.

Another topic of discussion that arises with AI is when is something (a machine) intelligent? This is where the industry seems to defer to Alan Turning and the "Turing Test". The idea here is where a computer gets to a point where the one questioning cannot determine whether it is a machine or not.

AGI versus ANI

One of the big topics of discussion relating to AI is the concept of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). AI experts are all over the board regarding this.

Some believe that AGI is possible and could be seen within a decade or two. Others are in the camp that it will take us decades to get there, with an eye on perhaps the latter part of this century. Then there are those who believe we will never see AGI and that artificial narrow intelligence (ANI) is the only thing possible.

Obviously we will have to wait this one out. However, the last few years have seen advancements that were previously thought to be unachievable.

Examples of AI

There are a lot of examples of AI already in use. To name a few are:

  • computerized stock trading programs
  • web searches
  • human speech apps
  • self driving cars
  • automated decision making programs

Today we have deep learning systems which take our machine learning engines to a more advanced levels. Architecture is such where specialized AI chips are being developed.

History of Artificial Intelligence

The formal development of artificial intelligence as a field of study began in the 20th century, marked by significant milestones and groundbreaking advancements.

Early Foundations (1900s-1950s)

The term "artificial intelligence" was coined by John McCarthy in 1955, during the Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence, which brought together leading scientists and mathematicians to explore the potential of creating intelligent machines.

Symbolic AI (1950s-1970s)

Early AI research focused on symbolic AI, which aimed to create intelligent machines by representing knowledge in a symbolic form and using logical reasoning to solve problems. This approach led to the development of early AI programs, such as the Logic Theorist and General Problem Solver, which could solve complex puzzles and perform symbolic reasoning tasks.

Challenges and Setbacks (1960s-1970s)

Despite initial successes, symbolic AI faced several challenges and setbacks. The complexity of symbolic representations and the difficulty of scaling symbolic AI systems to real-world problems led to a period of disillusionment and stagnation in the field.

Cognitive Revolution and the Rise of Connectionism (1970s-1980s)

In the 1970s, the cognitive revolution in psychology and neuroscience inspired a shift in AI towards connectionism, which drew inspiration from the structure and function of the human brain. This led to the development of artificial neural networks (ANNs), which simulated the interconnected neurons of the brain to learn from data and make predictions.

Neural Networksand Deep Learning (1980s-present)

The development of backpropagation algorithms in the 1980s enabled ANNs to learn more complex patterns in data, leading to a resurgence of interest in connectionism. In the 1990s and 2000s, the widespread adoption of GPUs (graphics processing units) for computing made it possible to train much larger and deeper ANNs, leading to the emergence of deep learning.

Deep Learning Revolution and Modern AI (2010s-present)

Deep learning has revolutionized AI, achieving remarkable breakthroughs in various areas, including image recognition, natural language processing, and speech recognition. This has led to the development of powerful AI applications in healthcare, finance, transportation, and other industries.

Ethical Considerations and Future Directions

As AI continues to advance, ethical considerations related to bias, fairness, and transparency in AI systems are becoming increasingly important. Future AI research will focus on addressing these challenges while also exploring new applications in areas such as robotics, virtual assistants, and personalized learning.

The history of AI is a testament to the human quest to create intelligent machines. From its humble beginnings to its current state of remarkable progress, AI has transformed our understanding of intelligence and continues to shape our world in profound ways. As AI continues to evolve, it is likely to play an even more significant role in our lives, bringing about both transformative benefits and challenging ethical dilemmas.



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