What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)? What are its branches?
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What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence (AI): What is it? When was it first introduced?

The world has been witnessing lately an uprise in the term “Artificial Intelligence (AI)”. However, opinions on its potential vastly differ in the tech world. Is it a buzz word? the world’s latest bubble? or is it really the future of technological advancement? It is worthwhile the effort to understand: what is Artificial Intelligence? and what are its types?

Nevertheless, AI is not a new concept. The introduction of Artificial Intelligence as a conceptual thought happened in the 1950’s. Precisely, its debut took place in 1956. John McCarthy, a math professor at Dartmouth college, first defined Artificial Intelligence. Quoted in his words:

“every aspect of learning or any other feature of intelligence can in principle be so precisely described that a machine can be made to simulate it.”

Artificial Intelligence
John McCarthy (Image via New York Times)

In other words, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the ability of machines to perform tasks considered clever by human beings. There are two other terms that we often hear associated with AI: machine learning, and deep learning.

What is Machine Learning?

Machine learning is the branch of AI that deals with teaching a machine how to perform a particular task. That is, feeding a machine a set of data and expecting predictions on new data. The progressive ease of developing software that can learn over time is boosting the advancement of machine learning. Moreover, the increasing advancement in computer storage and information processing encourages its implementation. Hence, it allowing for greater data storage and faster processing.

What is Deep Learning?

Alternatively, deep learning is the branch of machine learning that deals with the development of artificial neural networks. This specific branch is my personal favorite. It is inspired by the ways neurons in the human brain work together. Furthermore, deep learning is heading towards discovering the mysteries underlying the work of the human brain. Mimicking the works of the human mind to deliver intelligence does sound very reasonable indeed. There is no better alternative in my opinion. However, figuring out how the human mind works is a daunting task. It is the collective work of neuroscientists, psychologists, mathematicians, and computer scientists that will determine its future path.

Check out our article: Robot Colony Over Human Race?

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