What Is Artificial Intelligence?
Artificial intelligence (AI), sometimes known as machine intelligence, refers to the ability of computers to perform human-like feats of cognition including learning, problem-solving, perception, decision-making, and speech and language. Early AI systems had the ability to defeat a world chess champion, map streets, and compose music. Thanks to more advanced algorithms, data volumes, and computer power and storage, AI evolved and expanded to include more sophisticated applications, such as self-driving cars, improved fraud detection, and “personal assistants” like Siri and Alexa. Today, medical researchers are using AI to develop technology that will detect a range of diseases, improve radiology imaging, fine-tune radiation treatments, simplify DNA sequencing, and advance precision medicine for more individualized health care.
The Future of Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence as it is used today is considered “weak AI,” because it is generally designed to perform just one or two specific tasks as well as, and often better than, humans. At this point, however, the controversial future of AI research includes ideas about developing “strong AI,” or a super-intelligence, with the potential to perform many or all cognitive tasks better than humans. AI safety research is a priority for some scientists concerned about potential dangers if such advanced technology gets into the wrong hands, although others still question the possibility of ever achieving human-level strong AI.