​Artificial intelligence is a large and varied field with many sub-fields and lots of confusing terminology. But as
artificial intelligence becomes more mainstream and begins to have more of a role in our day-to-day lives, it’s going to become more important to have a general understanding of it. Here are some AI terminology basics you need to know.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is actually a sub-field of computer science tasked with creating computers that can perform tasks usually relegated to humans. Computers can do many things that humans can’t but there are many things that humans can do that computers can’t, and AI is about changing that.

Weak and strong AI

Weak AI refers to AI applications that perform a single task very well and there are already many weak AI programs out there. Strong AI is still science fiction at this point; it’s an AI system that can do virtually anything that a human could do.

Machine learning

The term “machine learning” is often uses interchangeably with artificial intelligence though it’s actually a sub-field of AI. Machine learning is concerned with programming machines to learn how to perform a task themselves as opposed to having to be programmed to do that task.

Natural language processing (NLP)

This is another sub-field of AI though the term is sometimes used interchangeably. NLP a branch of AI that focuses solely on language whether written or spoken. A crucial obstacle that must be overcome in developing strong AI is the inability of computers to comprehend written and spoken speech.

Deep learning

Deep learning is a sub-field of machine learning and is focused on programming machines to “think” in a way similar
to the human brain: that is on multiple levels simultaneously.

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Source: forbes.com/sites/quora/2016/09/23/what-are-the-differences-between-ai-machine-learning-nlp-and-deep-

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​Researchers at Stanford University have recently begun a new research project they call AI100, a 100-year research
project that aims to understand the various ways that the advancement of artificial intelligence will affect society. One of the areas of interest to researchers is law enforcement, particularly, the idea of predictive policing.

In Minority Report, psychics called “precogs” can know people’s intentions and people can be arrested for crimes they’re about to commit. Of course this is science fiction but in the near future, AI may be advanced enough to identify trends in pre-existing crimes to the extent that it can accurately predict when a crime is about to occur.

Law enforcement agencies and intelligence agencies are already using AI to some degree. AI systems scan social media looking for people of interest showing signs of radicalization who may commit acts of terror. It’s also used to detect so-called white collar crime such as fraud.

Machine learning will enable AI systems to do even more in the way of predictive policing by predicting when and where crimes will occur and who may commit them. The Stanford University team wants to ensure that such technologies aren’t abused by police and the justice system and that the innocent don’t suffer as a result of such technologies.

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Source: thesun.co.uk/news/1768423/cops-using-artificial-intelligence-to-stop-crimes-before-they-happen-researchers-warn/



​It seems every time you tune into the news you hear about another application for artificial intelligence. AI researchers are constantly finding new uses for artificial intelligence and many fear that sometime soon, AI will begin displacing jobs normally performed by humans at an alarming rate. These fears are nothing new. Dating back to the 1700s, people have feared that new technologies would disrupt the workforce. Towards the end of the 18th century, the industrial revolution changed the way that things were manufactured and many laborers found themselves out of work. In the late 19th century, the industrial revolution gave way to the technological revolution when manufacturing processes were improved upon by new technologies yet again and more workers found themselves without jobs. Then in the 20th century, the digital revolution came and mechanical and analogue technology was replaced with digital technology which again disrupted the workforce.

What each of these revolutions has taught us is that there is always a short-term shake-up of the labor force as companies adapt to keep up with new technologies as they become available. The artificial intelligence revolution is still in the early stages but already we’re beginning to see how certain markets will be disrupted. Take autonomous vehicles which will quickly eliminate the need for bus, truck, and taxi drivers, as the technology becomes mainstream and affordable.

But each of these revolutions have also taught us that after the initial job displacement passes, new technologies eventually create more jobs than they eliminate and the economy is ultimately stronger as a result. There’s no reason to think it will be any different when the artificial intelligence revolution is in full swing.

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Source: forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2016/08/29/is-artificial-intelligence-going-to-take-your-job#76cea3432363



​As major tech companies go, Apple is way behind on the times when it comes to artificial intelligence. While all the big players like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft are investing millions of dollars into AI research, Apple has yet to even form an artificial intelligence team. This is due in large part to Apple’s strong feelings regarding user privacy. Artificial intelligence is strongest when it has access of millions of bits of data to operate off of. This is called machine learning. The idea behind it is that humans’ interactions with the AI system are stored so that the system has an ever-increasing amount of data on which to base its decisions. The idea behind this is that the AI will get more and more accurate as it’s used. But Apple is uncomfortable with the idea of storing and using their customer’s AI interactions. That doesn’t mean that Apple’s products aren’t using AI, in fact, their devices are packed full with AI. Here are just a few examples:

  • Siri is obviously one of the main ways Apple uses AI. Recently they connected Siri to a neural network to help her process language better.
  • iPhones can supply the name of a caller not in the person’s contacts if the person calling had previously sent an email to the person.
  • The App Store can recommend apps you may like based on other apps you’ve downloaded and used.
  • The App Store also detects fraud and helps preserve users’ battery life using machine learning to analyze patterns.

 Apple is constantly looking for ways to integrate AI without compromising the privacy of their customers.

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Source: techtimes.com/articles/175016/20160825/apple-says-artificial-intelligence-is-not-the-final-frontier-but-ios-has-plenty-of-hidden-ai.htm



​Not long ago, artificial intelligence was something you read about in science fiction; today it’s all around us. The smartphone or tablet you hold in your hand is jam-packed with artificial intelligence. Whenever you use a mobile device to pull up Google and perform a search, you’re using advanced algorithms that help you find the information you’re seeking. When you open Netflix, or Spotify, or Amazon, AI is predicting the shows, movies, music, and merchandise you’ll like based on your previous behavior within those apps.

These are just a few examples of weak (or narrow) AI and they literally surround us. These AI systems are still a long way off from the artificially intelligent machines you see in the movies and read about in science fiction. Weak AI are narrower programs that are designed to do a single task very effectively. But the thousands and thousands of weak AI programs out there will serve as the foundation that will ultimately enable us to create strong AI that can think as humans do but much more quickly. But before that can happen, there are a few developments that must occur first:

  •     We’ll need greater computing power. Today’s CPUs, as great as they are, don’t have the sheer power necessary to mimic the human brain.

  •     We need to better understand the human brain and how it’s wired. If we’re going to create artificial intelligence that can truly simulate the way the human brain works, we’re going to require a much better understanding of it so that we can build a CPU that mimics it.


  •     Finally, we will need to find ways that AI can use higher and higher levels of problem solving. As we develop increasingly complex uses for AI, it will slowly evolve into strong AI.

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Source: singularityhub.com/2016/08/09/how-todays-jungle-of-artificial-intelligence-will-spawn-sentience/



​As the AI industry continues to grow and we see more and more instances of AI being integrated into our daily lives, there is a lot of misinformation about artificial intelligence, what it is, and what it means for humans. Here’s a look at some of the facts and myths surrounding this controversial field.

Types of AI

Many people think that AI is just one thing but there are actually many types that can be categorized under three broad terms:

  • Weak AI has been around for decades. Examples would be any machine that can performs a function as programmed. So cruise control is an example of weak AI. It’s not intelligent like humans but it can perform a task for humans so that we don’t have to.

  • Strong AI is only just becoming a reality. This is when machines can actually understand and not just follow orders. Understanding isn’t left to programmers who code the machines, rather machines will be allowed to sort through information and come to understand it themselves.

  • Super AI is related to consciousness. We’re still a long way from developing this kind of AI and many believe it can’t be done. This is the point where machines can comprehend their own existence and is self-aware.

Artificial intelligence and jobs

A common fear about AI is that it will displace jobs at a rate that hasn’t been seen since the industrial revolution. It’s true that AI could result in a complete takeover of certain jobs but at least until Super AI comes about, the majority of jobs will still be left for humans. In fact, AI is likely to create more jobs than it displaces in the long run.

Will super AI pose a threat to humanity?

Even super AI are dependent on the humans who program them. Super AI would have the potential to threaten humanity and the potential to do much good. It depends how they’re used and who ultimately controls them, but they will not be inherently good or evil.

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Source: thewindowsclub.com/facts-myths-artificial-intelligence



​The Air Force has been using artificial intelligence systems since the 80s to train pilots in combat situations. Air Force Colonel, Gene Lee, who has extensive aerial combat experience and is a combat instructor for the Air Force said that while these systems are good, a pilot can usually defeat them without too much difficulty unless they make a big mistake or are experimenting with something new. But even Colonel Lee may have met his match in a new artificial intelligence system developed by a doctoral graduate at the University of Cincinnati. The AI system, known as ALPHA, is the most advanced aerial combat computer ever developed. Colonel Lee, in a high-fidelity air combat simulator, recently took on ALPHA and was defeated. According to Lee, ALPHA is “the most aggressive, responsive, dynamic, and credible AI I’ve seen to date.”

Lee was not able to score a single kill against ALPHA and he was shot out of the air in every simulation. Since that first test, ALPHA has bested other aerial combat experts as well even when the system is handicapped in terms of speed, turning, and missile capability. What makes ALPHA so advanced is that it can predict the intentions of human opponents and reacts instantly to any changes in flight and missile deployment.

Uses for ALPHA

Obviously ALPHA has some serious implications in the world of aerial combat. As a simulator, it would present pilots with a more difficult challenge than they could ever face. The idea of having ALPHA programmed into fighter jets as a kind of ultimate wing man has also been proposed. But then again, if ALPHA is as advanced as people say, maybe it doesn’t need a human in the plane at all. For now, it’s creators are working out some kinks to make it even better.

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Source: phys.org/news/2016-06-video-games-artificial-intelligence-tactical.html



​The last few years have seen huge advancements in the world of artificial intelligence. As the technology continues to improve, we’ll see more and more real world applications of artificial intelligence. That means artificial intelligence is going to start playing a more obvious role in our lives. Here are six ways that AI will be making our lives better in the coming years.

Your personal concierge

Already our smartphones come equipped with personal assistants that can follow basic commands and do certain tasks for us. But in the next few years, you can expect to see huge advancements in what these personal assistants are able to do. They will be able to do more than just follow simple commands. They will be able to make recommendations based on our preferences and even help us with decision making.

Crisis management

One major advantage to artificial intelligence is that it’s able to process vast amounts of data very quickly. During a crisis, this will be crucial as artificial intelligence can help us in sorting through incoming data and devising the best plan to deal with the disaster as it unfolds.

Search and rescue

Something relatively new in the world of artificial intelligence is the ability for artificial intelligence systems to work together to solve problems or perform tasks. Already there is a RoboCup World Championship where robots have to learn to work together in order to win. This ability for robots to work together can allow them to assist us with situational problems like search and rescue that require collaboration.

Public health

Public health is a major concern. At any time, there could be a major outbreak of a deadly illness. Health professionals are always on the lookout for these kinds of outbreaks by watching for patterns of symptoms. But artificial intelligence will be able to sort through medical data and identify worrying patterns much sooner than people alerting us to public health concerns before an outbreak.

Driverless cars

Not too long ago, the idea of a driverless car would have seemed like science fiction. Today they’re already a reality with numerous companies perfecting the technology. In the near future, you can expect to see driverless cars become available to the public. These cars will allow us to make more efficient use of our time since we will be able to focus on other tasks while our cars drive for us. They’ll also be a lot safer resulting in fewer accidents and traffic fatalities.

No terminator robots

One thing we don’t have to worry about, at least in the near future, is a robot uprising. We’re still a long ways off from creating artificial intelligence that can replicate the way the human brain works. At least for the time being, artificial intelligence will be completely at the mercy of human programming which means they can’t harm us, unless we program them to.

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Source: techinsider.io/predictions-about-artificial-intelligence-from-former-google-vp-andrew-moore-2015-12



​There’s no denying that artificial intelligence is light years ahead of what it was just a few years ago. The technology continues to advance at an ever-increasing rate. But the ultimate goal of artificial intelligence researchers is to replicate human intelligence. So how do artificial intelligence and human intelligence measure up? You be the judge.

1.The so-called “deep learning” that artificial intelligence is capable of isn’t really the type of profound learning like humans are capable of. Rather deep learning refers to an interconnected neural network. That means that artificial intelligence has immediate access to a wider body of knowledge, but humans are still capable of more profound thought.

2.Artificial intelligence systems are able to beat the greatest chess masters in the world but they need millions of pictures (labeled by humans) to be able to learn to correctly identify a cat. Even a toddler can learn to differentiate between cats, dogs, and other animals after just a few instances of exposure to them.

3.Intel’s latest processor, the i7, is one of the best CPUs that the average person can go out and buy. With four cores, it can perform four separate tasks simultaneously. But that’s no match for human biology. Even super computers are no match for the human brain’s 80 billion cells.

4.The human brain can do what it does with just 10 watts of power. Artificial intelligence would need 10 terrawatts to imitate the human brain. That’s a trillion times more energy to do what the human brain is already capable of.

5.Artificial intelligence runs off of algorithms programmed by humans. The algorithms haven’t actually changed much. What’s changed is the ability for artificial intelligence to run algorithms much quicker than ever before. Certain tasks, like mastering chess, depends on algorithms which is why artificial intelligence has the upper hand when it comes to playing chess.

Why even try

If after all these years, human intelligence is still vastly superior to artificial intelligence, why do artificial intelligence researchers even bother? Because despite its weaknesses when it comes to certain cognitive tasks, it can still do some things exceptionally better than humans. Artificial intelligence can sort through vast amounts of data in seconds, a task that would take humans days, weeks, or even years. Artificial intelligence is much better at humans when it comes to recognizing patterns hidden among large amounts of data. Artificial intelligence is far superior to humans when it comes to mathematical reasoning and computing as well.

In the end, humans need artificial intelligence. They can automate some of the more simple cognitive tasks for us such as pulling up our favorite song or performing a quick mathematical calculation. They will make our lives easier. But artificial intelligence still needs us as well. If true artificial intelligence capable of rivaling human intelligence is ever a reality, it will only be because very intelligent humans created it.

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Source: bigthink.com/errors-we-live-by/should-we-fear-ai



If you were to make a list of the greatest video games ever made, the original Super Mario Bros. made for the Nintendo System would have to be towards the top of that list. Thanks to original game mechanics and challenging level designs, Super Mario Bros. was an instant classic and remains popular today—30 years later. But retro-gaming enthusiasts aren’t the only ones still playing Super Mario Bros. As it turns out, the classic video game is a huge hit with artificial intelligence developers. That’s because they often use the video game to test the intelligence of their systems.

How the test works

Artificial intelligence researchers use Super Mario Bros. to test AI in a couple of different ways. The first is that they attempt to program an AI system to successfully beat the game from beginning to end. To do this, the AI system needs to learn the nuances of the game in order to time jumps perfectly, avoid enemies, and successfully reach the end of each level before time expires. From 2009 to 2012, AI researchers even held a Mario AI competition to where competitors tried to design AI that could complete the game in the fastest time.

AI researchers are also programming artificial intelligence to design playable levels that will provide players with a challenge without being too difficult. Researchers believe that artificial intelligence may soon be used to assist humans with level design.

Why Super Mario Bros.

You may be wondering, out of all the ways to test an AI system, why use a video game. As it turns out, video games are an ideal way to test artificial intelligence because they require the use of logic, creativity, situational awareness, and decision-making skills to successfully beat the game. All of these skills are necessary in the quest for true artificial intelligence. But of the tens of thousands of video games to choose from, why Super Mario Bros.? AI researchers cite two primary reasons: first, they just love to play the game like the rest of us and second, the classic plat-former game’s perfect mix of complexity and simplicity combined with finely-tuned mechanics make it an ideal game for artificial intelligence testing.

While early AI systems used Atari games for testing, it’s too simplistic today thanks to advancements in artificial intelligence. But side-scrolling games like Super Mario Bros. present a bit more of a challenge because a good percentage of the level design can’t be observed by AI at any given time.

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Source: motherboard.vice.com/read/why-artificial-intelligence-researchers-love-super-mario-bros