This paper will try to act as an introduction to the vast
world of Artificial Intelligence. The objective is to familiarize the reader
with the field of AI and have a basic understanding of the core concepts. We
will try to achieve this goal through an overview to AI and its definition. For
a deeper understanding of the topic, an exploration of its history and how it
came to be is required. Additionally, practical applications and different uses
of AI will be discussed in order to see how it fits together in today’s
technology. Furthermore, we will discuss about the advantages and disadvantages
of this technology and leave it up to the reader to decide the benefit of
Artificial intelligence, unlike humans’ natural intelligence, is the
intelligence reserved for machines. In AI research vocabulary, an intelligent
device is one that can observe its environment and act accordingly in order to
boost its success chances in a certain objective. When a machine tries to
simulate cognitive functions of the human mind, the term “artificial
intelligence” is applied.
effect, a common phenomenon in the artificial intelligence field, is the
removal of some tasks from the field of AI as machines get more and more
capable and lower levels of intelligence are needed. As of 2017, skills like
competing at strategy games, intelligent routing, autonomous cars, complex data
interpretations, etc. are considered part of artificial intelligence.
Artificial intelligence has two main subdivisions: Strong
AI and Weak AI Strong
artificial intelligence consists of the work that tries to completely mirror a
human’s, even think like one. Weak artificial intelligence, on the other hand, only
tries to behave like humans, without thinking like them.
Yet another way to classify artificial intelligence is
narrow and general AI. We have narrow AI when we only have to complete a
certain goal. General AI is when there is a need to reason.
History of Artificial Intelligence
AI, as a field of study
was conceived in a workshop at Dartmouth College in 1956. The founders and the
leaders of AI experiments were Allen Newell, Herbert Simon, John McCarthy,
Marvin Minsky and Arthur Samuel. Together with their students, they made
computers that could learn checker moves and over the years computers ended up
outsmarting the average person in the game.
The 1970s were a lethargic
period for AI development. In 1974, the U.S and British governments stopped conducting
AI experiments. This period is also known as “AI winter”. In the 1980s, the
success of an AI program that could simulate the knowledge and analytical
skills of human experts compelled the U.S and British governments to further
conduct AI research. Another reason for this was Japan’s fifth generation
computer project. In 1985, the market of AI had gone past a billion dollars.
However, in 1987, AI was put to rest, once again.
AI started being used more
and more extensively in many areas, during 1990s and the early 21st
century. This was possible as a result of computational power increase, greater
priority on problem solving and numerous links between AI and other scientific
Applications of AI
Artificial Intelligence is everywhere in our modern
world, you just have to know where to look. Virtual Personal Assistants are one
of the most common uses for AI. A few examples are Siri, Cortana and Google
Now. They try to surf through seas of information in order to answer your every
request. Another heavy use of AI is video games. Although this is old news, today’s
game AI is very advanced and effective, a worthy opponent indeed. A hot topic
today is smart self-driving cars. The technology that makes these devices is no
other than AI. Although we have a long way until we see smart cars all around
us, we are slowly getting there. A, perhaps, not well known use of AI is online
customer support. Not every company can afford to have a live human at the
other end of the line, so they resort to the latest technology to fulfill their
and their customers’ needs.
These and many other uses are just the tip of the iceberg
when it comes to AI. It is something we rely heavily on, and will undoubtedly gain
more weight as time goes on.
Advantages and Disadvantages of AI
Every new technology brings many solutions to the table but
also brings up many issues to be considered. AI is no different. While it makes
our life a whole lot easier there are some areas that we need to be cautious
care of the routine tasks thus
letting humans focus on more important matters and increasing productivity.
exposed to danger instead of humans thus making research easier
in places or circumstances where humans are endangered.
decision-making due to the modern technology allows actions
to be carried out faster.
mistakes due to the fact that machines are less error-prone than
jobs due to the fact that machines are able to replace human workers
in many different areas.
distribution is the concern that things will be controlled
by machines, taking power from humans’ hands.
Artificial Intelligence is without a doubt a
controversial subject that requires further examination. Although it provides
the needed foundation to have a better understanding of this field, this paper
does in no way justice in explaining such a vast topic. With this newly
acquired knowledge, the reader is free and able to decide whether the attention
AI is receiving is deserved and whether it is a friend or foe.