AI (Artificial Intelligence)
What is AI?
Artificial intelligence is a machine’s ability to perform the cognitive functions we usually associate with human minds.
Twentieth-century theoreticians, like computer scientist and mathematician Alan Turing, envisioned a future where machines could perform functions faster than humans. The work of Turing and others soon made this a reality. Personal calculators became widely available in the 1970s and they are now just an ordinary part of our lives and culture.
Those smart machines are getting faster and more complex. Some computers have now crossed the exascale threshold, meaning that they can perform as many calculations in a single second as an individual could in 31,688,765,000 years. But it’s not just about computation. Computers and other devices are now acquiring skills and perception that have previously been our sole purview.
AI is a machine’s ability to perform the cognitive functions we associate with human minds, such as perceiving, reasoning, learning, interacting with an environment, problem solving, and even exercising creativity.
You’ve probably interacted with AI even if you didn’t realize it—voice assistants like Siri and Alexa are founded on AI technology, as are some customer service chatbots that pop up to help you navigate websites.