An Introduction To Artificial Intelligence

Elliot Forbes Elliot Forbes ⏰ 3 Minutes 📅 Apr 15, 2017

This is lesson one of the Artificial Intelligence course on this website.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence is a huge field of computer science that is focused primarily on building agents that think and perform actions independant from human interference. If you are or have ever been a gamer then you will have experienced artificial intelligence in action contained within the non-player characters that try to prevent you from winning the games.

Games are probably the most widely recognized users of Artificial Intelligence but the truth is that it’s used in a huge number of different things. Banks have long used things such as artificial neural networks in order to try and automate the detection of fraud and other illegal activities as well as in their pursuits at making money through High Frequency Trading.

The Automotive industry is also investing billions into the creation of driverless cars and vehicles and recently we’ve seen huge steps forward. Driverless busses have been deployed in Sion with the aim “to go where it’s complicated, where the roads are too narrow or where financially it is too expensive for the state.”

History of Artificial Intelligence

Warren McCulloch and Walter Pitts were said to have been the first 2 individuals that started working on what is now recognized as Artificial Intelligence back in 1943. They essentially proposed a model of artificial neurons in which each was characterized as being on or off, essentially a ‘bit’ in today’s terms in which each neuron could be either 0 or 1.

In the 1950s the world was introduced to the neural network, which was the brainchild of 2 Harvard students; a Marvin Minsky and Dean Edmonds. Initially called the SNARC, it used 3,000 vacuum tubes and an automatic pilot mechanism from a B-24 bomber to simulate a grand total of 40 neurons.

From the start, hugely important figures in the field underestimated exactly what it would take to develop a capable AI and multiple studies were performed in order to try and advance the field but to little avail. These studies were hugely important in the sense that they introduced the big players to each other but as of yet, 60 years later, whilst we have progressed hugely, we still don’t have a definitive solution to creating an AI.

Today the field of artificial intelligence has branched out into numerous sub-domains all solving different problems.

Other Applications of Artificial Intelligence

The following list is just a small subset of the areas where artificial intelligence is used:

  1. Finance
  2. Heavy Industry
  3. Telephone Customer Services
  4. Transportation
  5. Aviation
  6. Robotics
  7. Speech Recognition

Branches of Artificial Intelligence

Due to the size and complexity of the field, artificial intelligence has been split into a number of different subsections. This includes things such as neural networks, fuzzy systems and evolutionary computation.