What is AI?

Posted by Tirthankar RayChaudhuri on Jul 06,2023

Artificial intelligence (AI) is human-like intelligence exhibited by machines or software. It is also the name of the academic field of study which studies how to create computers and computer software that are capable of intelligent behaviour.
Major AI researchers and textbooks define this field as "the study and design of intelligent agents", in which an intelligent agent is a system that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chances of success.

The Imitation Game: ‘Can Machines Think?’

The definition of how a machine can be classified as ‘intelligent’ was the work of Alan Turing in his 1950 paper “Computing Machinery and Intelligence," while working at The University of Manchester (Turing, 1950; p. 460). It is called the Turing Test.
It opens with the words: "I propose to consider the question, 'Can machines think?'

Because "thinking" is difficult to define, Turing chooses to "replace the question by another, which is closely related to it and is expressed in relatively unambiguous words."

Turing's new question is: "Are there imaginable digital computers which would do well in the imitation game?"

This question, Turing believed, is one that can actually be answered.

In the remainder of the paper, he argued against all the major objections to the proposition that "machines can think". The Turing test is a test of a machine's ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human.

Alan Turing proposed that a human evaluator would judge natural language conversations between a human and a machine that is designed to generate human-like responses. The evaluator would be aware that one of the two partners in conversation is a machine, and all participants would be separated from one another.

The conversation would be limited to a text-only channel such as a computer keyboard and screen so that the result would not be dependent on the machine's ability to render words as speech.If the evaluator cannot reliably tell the machine from the human, the machine is said to have passed the test.The test does not check the ability to give correct answers to questions, only how closely answers resemble those a human would give.

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