What Exactly is Artificial
There are many definitions of Artificial Intelligence (AI).
In fact, a Google search today returns around 1.18 billion results. One of
the funniest definitions I have run across is "AI is whatever hasn't been done
yet" now there's a vague and unhelpful answer!
One of the more useful
definitions I have found is:
"AI is the ability of a computer
program or a machine to think and learn. In general use, the term 'artificial
intelligence' means a machine which mimics human cognition."
the crux of AI seems to be machines that are able to think and learn.
way humans think is through what is called cognition (stems from the Latin for
"know" or "recognize"). It is the scientific word for a thought process i.e., the
mental action of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought and experience.
The way humans learn is through either observational or associative means.
learning is watching others' behavior, for example, watching your parent drive
a car, where you learn from watching which levers and switches they push as they
drive along. Associative learning, on the other hand, is learning by establishing
connections between events. You know there will be thunder when you see a lightning
Humans make decisions based on thought and learning. We make sound
or good decisions based on observational reasoning as well as associative patterns.
We also sometimes make bad decisions that we can learn from to make us smarter
the next time around. So, our thought process gets smarter the more we learn.
a machine can acquire knowledge and understand or recognize it, then it too can
start to make informed (and hopefully good) decisions for me. I believe AI is
really all about a machine being able to make an informed decision that is a sound
one. It is a decision support system (DSS) that helps me make a better decision
faster than I could have otherwise.