Artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligence demonstrated by machines, in contrast to the natural intelligence displayed by humans and other animals. In computer science, AI research is defined as the study of “intelligent agents”: any device that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of successfully achieving its goals. Simply put, the term “artificial intelligence” is applied when a machine mimics “cognitive” functions that humans associate with other human minds, such as “learning” and “problem solving”. It is an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that “work” and “react” like humans. Some of the activities, computers with artificial intelligence are designed for, include:
- Speech recognition
- Visual pattern recognition
- Problem solving
- Autonomous locomotion
The field was founded on the claim that human intelligence “can be so precisely described that a machine can be made to simulate it”. This raises philosophical arguments about the nature of the mind and the ethics of creating artificial beings endowed with human-like intelligence which are issues that have been explored by myth, fiction and philosophy since antiquity. Some people also consider AI to be a danger to humanity if it progresses unabatedly. Others believe that AI, unlike previous technological revolutions, will create a risk of mass unemployment.
In the twenty-first century, AI techniques have experienced a resurgence following concurrent advances in computer power, large amounts of data, and theoretical understanding; and AI techniques have become an essential part of the technology industry, helping to solve many challenging problems in computer science.