Have you even watched a movie where Robots exhibited Human-like behavior as they interacted with people and the world around them. How about when the whole world was subject to machine control in The Matrix? That's a pretty frightening concept. These movies, like many others, have their own depictions of what Artificial Intelligence looks like, and means to us as a society.
The term Artificial Intelligence has been popularized in books and movies to depict futuristic settings where machines take over the world, or live with us side by side as if they were humans. But did you know that Artificial Intelligence is actually here with us, today? That we as a society and a culture are already embracing Artificial Intelligence in our daily lives, everyday? We no longer live in a world where Artificial Intelligence is just a story in our books, or on the big screen when we go to the movies. But if Artificial Intelligence is already here, what is it really like? How does it work? How does Artificial Intelligence actually compare to the fictional representations of AI in our culture?
At a very high level artificial intelligence can be split into two broad types: narrow AI and general AI.
is what we see all around us in computers today: intelligent systems that have been taught or learned how to carry out specific tasks without being explicitly programmed how to do so.
This type of machine intelligence is evident in the speech and language recognition of the Siri virtual assistant on the Apple iPhone, in the vision-recognition systems on self-driving cars, in the recommendation engines that suggest products you might like based on what you bought in the past. Unlike humans, these systems can only learn or be taught how to do specific tasks, which is why they are called narrow AI.
Artificial general intelligence
is very different, and is the type of adaptable intellect found in humans, a flexible form of intelligence capable of learning how to carry out vastly different tasks, anything from haircutting to building spreadsheets, or to reason about a wide variety of topics based on its accumulated experience. This is the sort of AI more commonly seen in movies, the likes of HAL in 2001 or Skynet in The Terminator, but which doesn't exist today and AI experts are fiercely divided over how soon it will become a reality.
There is a broad body of research in AI, much of which feeds into and complements each other.
Currently enjoying something of a resurgence, machine learning is where a computer system is fed large amounts of data, which it then uses to learn how to carry out a specific task, such as understanding speech or captioning a photograph.