Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the science and engineering of imitating cognitive functions to create intelligent machines —by using smart computer programs, that react and carry out tasks normally done by people. AI simulates the capacity for abstract, creative, and deductive thought; also, the ability to learn. Basically, AI looks for computers to do "smart" things.
Alan Turing, an English mathematician that become an AI theorist, pioneered that AI was best researched by programming computers rather than by building machines. He wrote Computing Machinery and Intelligence in 1950 in which discussed conditions for considering a machine to be intelligent, arguing that if the machine could successfully pretend to be human to a knowledgeable observer, then you certainly should consider it intelligent; this is now known as the “Turing test”.
Artificial Intelligence research has focused mainly on these components of intelligence, by using the binary logic of computers: Learning, Reasoning, Knowledge, Problem-solving, Perception, Planning, Moving & Manipulating Objects, and Language-understanding.
Nowadays, the research of AI has two branches:
- Generalized AI, that develops different machine intelligences to perform any task, just like people do. This AI simulates how the human brain works; it is currently being slow researched because it requires a more complete understanding of the organ and more available computing power. Neuromorphic Processors —a new generation of computer chip technology are being designed to efficiently run brain-simulator code. In parallel, scientists are developing computers systems (like IBM’s Watson) that use high-level simulations of human neurological processes to perform a broader range of chores without being specifically taught how to do them.
- Specialized AI, that uses principles of simulating human thought to carry out one specific task. Specialized AI is already providing breakthroughs in physics, medicine, finance, marketing, manufacturing, telecommunications, and transportation (self-driving and autonomous cars) fields.
More and more devices with embedded Artificial Intelligence in daily objects are interacting with the outside world, learning from sensory inputs (like real sounds and images) and generating responses accordingly to those stimuluses. Onboard technology has empowered vehicles to become sophisticated computers on wheels. Some automotive companies have gone a step further combining and applying technologies (AI and Machine Learning, also Big Data) together to create highly responsive autonomous systems that help in mobility for those who are less able to drive.
But Artificial Intelligence automotive application is not just only about cars that drive on its own; AI is helping to build cars that can sense the environment and navigate through obstacles that may come up during driving. The install rate of AI-based systems in new vehicles is forecasted to be 109% by 2025.
As Artificial Intelligence is essentially transforming our reality and improving so many fields (capitalizing the growing amount of data being generated every day that is leading to a deep societal change), a number of tech giants —including Google, IBM, Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon, founded Partnership on AI to benefit people and society aiming to formulate best practices on AI technologies for future research, development, and deployment of AI. But also, to advocate for ethical implementations, and to advance the understanding of AI while discussing & engaging about its influence on people and society.