12 Artificial Intelligence Terms You Need to Know - InformationWeek

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Data Management // AI/Machine Learning
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9/28/2017
11:00 AM
Cynthia Harvey
Cynthia Harvey
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12 Artificial Intelligence Terms You Need to Know

Is artificial intelligence the same thing as machine learning? And what is a neural network? This slideshow explains fundamental AI terminology in everyday terms.
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Artificial Intelligence

Image: Pixabay
Image: Pixabay

What is artificial intelligence? In the simplest terms, an artificial intelligence is a machine that can think the way people think.

From the earliest days of computing, machines have been good at performing logical tasks like solving simple math problems. However, other tasks, like carrying on a conversation, identifying whether the animal in picture is a dog or cat, or recognizing whether a person is happy or sad, are much more difficult for computers.

The phrase "artificial intelligence" was first used in reference to these tasks that are easy for humans and difficult for machines at a computer science workshop in 1956. At the conclusion of the workshop, the attendees devoted themselves to figuring out "how to make machines use language, form abstractions and concepts, solve kinds of problems now reserved for humans, and improve themselves."

To this day, AI researchers continue to work on the areas outlined by these early AI pioneers. Fields like natural language processing, image recognition and machine learning have become subspecialties within the overall category of AI. Artificial intelligence research has also expanded to encompass other areas, such as social intelligence, creativity, autonomous vehicles, recommendation engines and much more.

Cynthia Harvey is a freelance writer and editor based in the Detroit area. She has been covering the technology industry for more than fifteen years. View Full Bio

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