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Artificial Intelligence | An Introduction

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  • Difficulty Level : Easy
  • Last Updated : 30 Jan, 2023
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Before leading to the meaning of artificial intelligence let understand what is the meaning of Intelligence- 

Intelligence: The ability to learn and solve problems. This definition is taken from webster’s Dictionary. 

The most common answer that one expects is “to make computers intelligent so that they can act intelligently!”, but the question is how much intelligent? How can one judge intelligence? 

…as intelligent as humans. If the computers can, somehow, solve real-world problems, by improving on their own from past experiences, they would be called “intelligent”. 
Thus, the AI systems are more generic(rather than specific), can “think” and are more flexible. 

Intelligence, as we know, is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge. Knowledge is the information acquired through experience. Experience is the knowledge gained through exposure(training). Summing the terms up, we get artificial intelligence as the “copy of something natural(i.e., human beings) ‘WHO’ is capable of acquiring and applying the information it has gained through exposure.” 

Artificial Intelligence

Intelligence is composed of:  

  • Reasoning
  • Learning
  • Problem Solving
  • Perception
  • Linguistic Intelligence

Many tools are used in AI, including versions of search and mathematical optimization, logic, and methods based on probability and economics. The AI field draws upon computer science, mathematics, psychology, linguistics, philosophy, neuroscience, artificial psychology, and many others. 

The main focus of artificial intelligence is towards understanding human behavior and performance. This can be done by creating computers with human-like intelligence and capabilities. This includes natural language processing, facial analysis and robotics. The main applications of AI are in military, healthcare, and computing; however, it’s expected that these applications will start soon and become part of our everyday lives.

Many theorists believe that computers will one day surpass human intelligence; they’ll be able to learn faster, process information more effectively and make decisions faster than humans. However, it’s still a work in progress as there are many limitations to how much artificial intelligence is achieved. For example, computers don’t perform well in dangerous or cold environments; they also struggle with physical tasks such as driving cars or operating heavy machinery. Even so, there are many exciting things ahead for artificial intelligence!

Need for Artificial Intelligence  

  1. To create expert systems that exhibit intelligent behavior with the capability to learn, demonstrate, explain, and advise its users.
  2. Helping machines find solutions to complex problems like humans do and applying them as algorithms in a computer-friendly manner.

Approaches of AI

There are a total of four approaches of AI and that are as follows:

  • Acting humanly (The Turing Test approach): This approach was designed by Alan Turing. The ideology behind this approach is that a computer passes the test if a human interrogator, after asking some written questions, cannot identify whether the written responses come from a human or from a computer.
  • Thinking humanly (The cognitive modeling approach): The idea behind this approach is to determine whether the computer thinks like a human. 
  • Thinking rationally (The “laws of thought” approach):  The idea behind this approach is to determine whether the computer thinks rationally i.e. with logical reasoning. 
  • Acting rationally (The rational agent approach): The idea behind this approach is to determine whether the computer acts rationally i.e. with logical reasoning. 

Applications of AI include Natural Language Processing, Gaming, Speech Recognition, Vision Systems, Healthcare, Automotive, etc. 

Forms of AI:

1) Weak AI:

  • Weak AI is an AI that is created to solve a particular problem or perform a specific task.
  • It is not a general AI and is only used for specific purpose.
  • For example, the AI that was used to beat the chess grandmaster is a weak AI as that serves only 1 purpose but it can do it efficiently.

2) Strong AI:

  • Strong AI is difficult to create than weak AI.
  • It is a general purpose intelligence that can demonstrate human abilities.
  • Human abilities such as learning from experience, reasoning, etc. can be demonstrated by this AI.

3) Super Intelligence

  • As stated by a leading AI thinker Nick Bostrom, “Super Intelligence is an AI that is much smarter than the best human brains in practically every field”.
  • It ranges from a machine being just smarter than a human to a machine being trillion times smarter than a human.
  • Super Intelligence is the ultimate power of AI.

    An AI system is composed of an agent and its environment. An agent(e.g., human or robot) is anything that can perceive its environment through sensors and acts upon that environment through effectors. Intelligent agents must be able to set goals and achieve them. In classical planning problems, the agent can assume that it is the only system acting in the world, allowing the agent to be certain of the consequences of its actions. However, if the agent is not the only actor, then it requires that the agent can reason under uncertainty. This calls for an agent that cannot only assess its environment and make predictions but also evaluate its predictions and adapt based on its assessment. Natural language processing gives machines the ability to read and understand human language. Some straightforward applications of natural language processing include information retrieval, text mining, question answering, and machine translation. Machine perception is the ability to use input from sensors (such as cameras, microphones, sensors, etc.) to deduce aspects of the world. e.g., Computer Vision. Concepts such as game theory, and decision theory, necessitate that an agent can detect and model human emotions. 

    Many times, students get confused between Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, but Machine learning, a fundamental concept of AI research since the field’s inception, is the study of computer algorithms that improve automatically through experience. The mathematical analysis of machine learning algorithms and their performance is a branch of theoretical computer science known as a computational learning theory. 

    Stuart Shapiro divides AI research into three approaches, which he calls computational psychology, computational philosophy, and computer science. Computational psychology is used to make computer programs that mimic human behavior. Computational philosophy is used to develop an adaptive, free-flowing computer mind. Implementing computer science serves the goal of creating computers that can perform tasks that only people could previously accomplish. 

    AI has developed a large number of tools to solve the most difficult problems in computer science, like: 

  • Search and optimization
  • Logic
  • Probabilistic methods for uncertain reasoning
  • Classifiers and statistical learning methods
  • Neural networks
  • Control theory
  • Languages

High-profile examples of AI include autonomous vehicles (such as drones and self-driving cars), medical diagnosis, creating art (such as poetry), proving mathematical theorems, playing games (such as Chess or Go), search engines (such as Google search), virtual assistants (such as Siri), image recognition in photographs, spam filtering, prediction of judicial decisions[204] and targeted online advertisements. Other applications include Healthcare, Automotive, Finance, Video games, etc 

Are there limits to how intelligent machines – or human-machine hybrids – can be? A superintelligence, hyperintelligence, or superhuman intelligence is a hypothetical agent that would possess intelligence far surpassing that of the brightest and most gifted human mind. ‘‘Superintelligence’’ may also refer to the form or degree of intelligence possessed by such an agent. 

This article is contributed by Palak Jain. If you like GeeksforGeeks and would like to contribute, you can also write an article using or mail your article to See your article appearing on the GeeksforGeeks main page and help other Geeks. 

Please write comments if you find anything incorrect, or if you want to share more information about the topic discussed above.

Drawbacks of Artificial Intelligence :

  1. Bias and unfairness: AI systems can perpetuate and amplify existing biases in data and decision-making.
  2. Lack of transparency and accountability: Complex AI systems can be difficult to understand and interpret, making it challenging to determine how decisions are being made.
  3. Job displacement: AI has the potential to automate many jobs, leading to job loss and a need for reskilling.
  4. Security and privacy risks: AI systems can be vulnerable to hacking and other security threats, and may also pose privacy risks by collecting and using personal data.
  5. Ethical concerns: AI raises important ethical questions about the use of technology for decision-making, including issues related to autonomy, accountability, and human dignity.

Technologies Based on Artificial Intelligence:

  1. Machine Learning: A subfield of AI that uses algorithms to enable systems to learn from data and make predictions or decisions without being explicitly programmed.
  2. Natural Language Processing (NLP): A branch of AI that focuses on enabling computers to understand, interpret, and generate human language.
  3. Computer Vision: A field of AI that deals with the processing and analysis of visual information using computer algorithms.
  4. Robotics: AI-powered robots and automation systems that can perform tasks in manufacturing, healthcare, retail, and other industries.
  5. Neural Networks: A type of machine learning algorithm modeled after the structure and function of the human brain.
  6. Expert Systems: AI systems that mimic the decision-making ability of a human expert in a specific field.
  7. Chatbots: AI-powered virtual assistants that can interact with users through text-based or voice-based interfaces.


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