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What Is Artificial Intelligence? I Can’t Define It, But I Know It When I See It

What Is Artificial Intelligence?

When considering how to draw the line between whether an application is AI or not, I’m tempted to paraphrase U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart:

“I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of applications I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description “artificial intelligence” , and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it.”

machine developing its own concept of what a “cat” is and learning to detect it in videos feels like AI to me. Although the more I read about it and understand it the more it just feels like a clever use of deep learning, creating a mathematical construct that is fit for purpose. It’s like magic: when the trick is revealed I can still be impressed, but it doesn’t feel like magic anymore.

Here’s a test: 50 years from now if someone looks back at this, do you think they’ll still call it artificial intelligence? Or by then will it be so intuitive and well understood – a trusted black box – that we’ll just call it automation?

Justice Stewart’s clever turn of phrase implies that on some issues it’s not possible to draw strict lines, the lines may move over time, and it’s in the eye of the beholder. To me, all of these apply to AI.

Think about “automation” for a moment as a contrast. Automation is simply using machines to do what humans would otherwise do. In the workplace it is associated with boring (but profitable) tasks such as scanning RF codes or macro scripts…

Read Full Source: Gartner

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