Today we hear of artificial intelligence, or AI, being implemented everywhere – from smart phones through to domestic appliances through to robotic devices. Businesses claim to be based on it. But given the way that artificial intelligence has changed over the years it is valid to ask what it is today, and indeed, is it just marketing hype?
The term AI was coined back in the 1950’s, with the idea of making intelligent computer systems that “think” and make decisions like a person would. Typical of that time was the Turing test, with the aim to have a program that could converse in a manner indistinguishable from a human. Many of these aims have still not been met, but they have led to ideas that are in use today. Machine Learning (ML) is a simpler form of AI that “learns” as it identifies new patterns in data, with both terms becoming somewhat interchangeable. This drives the modern form of AI, made practical with modern computing and the internet. It is a far cry from approximating intelligent human beings.