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Definition: AI

(1) See Adobe Illustrator.

(2) See AI in a nutshell.

(3) (Artificial Intelligence) 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 operations and decision making.

The Entire Field or One Application
The term AI may refer to the entire field of artificial intelligence or to one specific AI system. For example, "there is an AI to handle this."

Pattern Recognition and Predictions
Primarily a pattern recognition system, AI learns from training and adapts through experience. Predictions are made based on past and present analyses. The primary AI architecture is the neural network, which differs dramatically from traditional if-this-do-that program logic. It is extremely difficult to debug the logic step-by-step for every input in AI software, if not downright impossible. See neural network.

Past and Present Buzzword
Although AI is a very hot topic today, 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). An ongoing competition for the best conversation chatbot started in 1991 (see Loebner Prize).

Will AI Eliminate Jobs?
Every year, conversations like the androids in sci-fi movies are becoming routine computer functions (see GPT and ChatGPT). Increasingly, AI robots are becoming helpers around the house, and people are very concerned that AI is going to eliminate too many jobs in the future. In April 2023, a PCMag.com article cited 10 jobs that could disappear sooner than later due to AI, which are: accountants, content moderators, legal assistants, proofreaders, financial traders, speech-to-text transcribers, graphic designers, customer service reps, writers and soldiers. The latter, robots replacing soldiers, might be the best outcome, providing robots battle robots and not humans.

An Ironic Twist of Terminology
In the computer field, the term "intelligence" means processing capability. That means every computer-enabled device is intelligent, which includes hundreds of billions of sensors, cameras, appliances and gadgets. However, "artificial" intelligence implies human capability. Thus, while all machines are "intelligent," the more they exhibit human traits, the more "artificial" they become! See AI in a nutshell, machine learning, edge AI, AGI, chatbot, social robot, AI anxiety and Watson.

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
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 bit in its first tests; however, teams of AI engineers taught Atlas to become very sophisticated. (Image courtesy of Boston Dynamics, www.bostondynamics.com)

The Cerebras AI Computer
Founder and chief architect of Cerebras Systems, Sean Lie is holding the wafer that is the heart of the Cerebras computer. Designed for AI processing, it contains 2.6 trillion transistors (see Cerebras AI computer). (Image courtesy of Cerebras Systems, www.cerebras.net)