Artificial intelligence (AI) is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems. Specific applications of AI include expert systems, natural language processing (NLP), speech recognition and machine vision.
AI programming focuses on three cognitive skills: learning, reasoning and self-correction.
Learning processes. This aspect of AI programming focuses on acquiring data and creating rules for how to turn the data into actionable information. The rules, which are called algorithms, provide computing devices with step-by-step instructions for how to complete a specific task.
Reasoning processes. This aspect of AI programming focuses on choosing the right algorithm to reach a desired outcome.
Self-correction processes. This aspect of AI programming is designed to continually fine-tune algorithms and ensure they provide the most accurate results possible.
Advantages and disadvantages of artificial intelligence
Artificial neural networks and deep learning artificial intelligence technologies are quickly evolving, primarily because AI processes large amounts of data much faster and makes predictions more accurately than humanly possible. While the huge volume of data that’s being created on a daily basis would bury a human researcher, AI applications that use machine learning can take that data and quickly turn it into actionable information. As of this writing, the primary disadvantage of using AI is that it is expensive to process the large amounts of data that AI programming requires.
Strong AI vs. Weak AI
AI can be categorized as either weak or strong. Weak AI, also known as narrow AI, is an AI system that is designed and trained to complete a specific task. Industrial robots and virtual personal assistants, such as Apple’s Siri, use weak AI.
Strong AI, also known as artificial general intelligence (AGI), describes programming that can replicate human cognitive abilities. When presented with an unfamiliar task, a strong AI system can use fuzzy logic to apply knowledge from one domain to another and find a solution autonomously. In theory, a strong AI program should be able to pass both a Turing test and the Chinese room test.
Augmented intelligence vs. artificial intelligence
Some industry experts believe that the term artificial intelligence is too closely linked to popular culture, and this has caused the general public to have improbable expectations about how AI will change the workplace and life in general. Some researchers and marketers hope the label augmented intelligence, which has a more neutral connotation, will help people understand that most implementations of AI will be weak and simply improve products and services. The concept of the Singularity and a world where the application of superintelligence to humans or human problems — including poverty, disease and mortality — still falls within the realm of science fiction.