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ntelligence) Devices and applications that exhibit human intelligence and behavior, including robots, self-driving cars, medical diagnosis and the ever-improving areas of voice, face and natural language recognition. Virtually every industry from finance to agriculture is using or exploring AI to improve decision making and operations.
AI implies the capability to learn and adapt through experience and to come up with solutions to problems without using rigid program logic, which is the approach of non-AI software.
Today's large organizations, search engines and social media sites are learning billions of details about the world's content and human behavior every day. One result of this knowledge is the voice-activated, natural language assistant, such as Apple's Siri, Google Assistant, Microsoft's Cortana and Amazon's Echo (Alexa). See virtual assistant
, big data
, self-driving car
, machine learning
, neural network
and expert system
A Past and Present Buzzword
Decades ago, the AI buzzword was abused as it referred to any and all advancements. Today, it is the hottest buzzword in tech. Any product with the slightest breakthough is touted as having AI, whether it does or not. However, the acid test of AI was actually defined in the 1940s by English scientist, Alan Turing, who said, "A machine has artificial intelligence when there is no discernible difference between the conversation generated by the machine and that of an intelligent person" (see Turing test
). Question and answer dialog is already here and will continue to get better; however, a "real" conversation like the androids in the movies could take a very long time.
The Loebner Prize
In 1991, American inventor Hugh Loebner launched a competition and annual award for the chatbot that exhibits the most human-like responses. See Loebner Prize
Artificial Means Human
The term "intelligence" means processing capability; therefore, every computer is intelligent. However, artificial intelligence implies human-like intelligence. An ironic twist in terminology. See AGI
, social robot
, computer generations
, neural network
, AI anxiety
Shakey the Robot
Developed in 1969 by the Stanford Research Institute, Shakey was the first fully mobile robot with artificial intelligence. Seven feet tall, Shakey was named after its rather unstable movements. (Image courtesy of The Computer History Museum, www.computerhistory.org)
Forty-Four Years Later - Still a Bit Shaky
Funded by DARPA and made by Boston Dynamics, the 400-pound, 6'2" Atlas was designed for emergency rescue. Built in 2013, Atlas stumbled a lot in its first tests; however, teams of AI engineers are teaching Atlas to become very sophisticated. (Image courtesy of Boston Dynamics, www.bostondynamics.com)