Artificial Intelligence Depot

Artificial Intelligence

Plain and simple.
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What is Artificial Intelligence?


Artificial Intelligence is a branch of Science which deals with helping machines find solutions to complex problems in a more human-like fashion. This generally involves borrowing characteristics from human intelligence, and applying them as algorithms in a computer friendly way. A more or less flexible or efficient approach can be taken depending on the requirements established, which influences how artificial the intelligent behaviour appears.

AI is generally associated with Computer Science, but it has many important links with other fields such as Maths, Psychology, Cognition, Biology and Philosophy, among many others. Our ability to combine knowledge from all these fields will ultimately benefit our progress in the quest of creating an intelligent artificial being.

Why Artificial Intelligence?


Computers are fundamentally well suited to performing mechanical computations, using fixed programmed rules. This allows artificial machines to perform simple monotonous tasks efficiently and reliably, which humans are ill-suited to. For more complex problems, things get more difficult... Unlike humans, computers have trouble understanding specific situations, and adapting to new situations. Artificial Intelligence aims to improve machine behaviour in tackling such complex tasks.

Together with this, much of AI research is allowing us to understand our intelligent behaviour. Humans have an interesting approach to problem-solving, based on abstract thought, high-level deliberative reasoning and pattern recognition. Artificial Intelligence can help us understand this process by recreating it, then potentially enabling us to enhance it beyond our current capabilities.

When will Computers become truly Intelligent?


To date, all the traits of human intelligence have not been captured and applied together to spawn an intelligent artificial creature. Currently, Artificial Intelligence rather seems to focus on lucrative domain specific applications, which do not necessarily require the full extent of AI capabilities. This limit of machine intelligence is known to researchers as narrow intelligence.

There is little doubt among the community that artificial machines will be capable of intelligent thought in the near future. It's just a question of what and when... The machines may be pure silicon, quantum computers or hybrid combinations of manufactured components and neural tissue. As for the date, expect great things to happen within this century!

How does Artificial Intelligence work?


There are many different approaches to Artificial Intelligence, none of which are either completely right or wrong. Some are obviously more suited than others in some cases, but any working alternative can be defended. Over the years, trends have emerged based on the state of mind of influencial researchers, funding opportunities as well as available computer hardware.

Over the past five decades, AI research has mostly been focusing on solving specific problems. Numerous solutions have been devised and improved to do so efficiently and reliably. This explains why the field of Artificial Intelligence is split into many branches, ranging from Pattern Recognition to Artificial Life, including Evolutionary Computation and Planning.

Who uses Artificial Intelligence?


The potential applications of Artificial Intelligence are abundant. They stretch from the military for autonomous control and target identification, to the entertainment industry for computer games and robotic pets. Lets also not forget big establishments dealing with huge amounts of information such as hospitals, banks and insurances, who can use AI to predict customer behaviour and detect trends.

As you may expect, the business of Artificial Intelligence is becoming one of the major driving forces for research. With an ever growing market to satisfy, there's plenty of room for more personel. So if you know what you're doing, there's plenty of money to be made from interested big companies!

Where can I find out about Artificial Intelligence?


If you're interested in AI, you've come to the right place! The Artificial Intelligence Depot is a site purely dedicated to AI bringing you daily news and regular features, providing you with community interaction as well as an ever growing database of knowledge resources. Whether you are a complete beginner, experienced programmer, computer games hacker or academic researcher, you will find something to suit your needs here.

Once you've finished reading this page, the first thing you should do is visit the Artificial Intelligence Depot's main page. This deals with the daily Artificial Intelligence business, and contains links to useful resources. From now onwards you will always be taken to this main page, but you can always come back to this introduction page via the menu. If you need a quick guide to the site before you start, refer to our introduction for the AI Depot.

That said, you shoult not limit yourself to online information. Getting a good book on the subject is probably one of the smartest moves to make if you are really serious about Artificial Intelligence. A good starting point is the book called Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach, which covers important material from the ground upwards.

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