Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to both the study of intelligent agents and to the intelligent agents themselves. An “intelligent agent” is any device designed to achieve some goal, receive information from its environment as input and output a response that maximizes success of achieving said goal.
Currently, AI can be categorized into three groups: narrow, general, and super artificial intelligences.
Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI) or Weak AI, are systems that are considered the least computationally potent AI. These systems include much of the contemporary machine learning and deep learning models with singular and narrowed functions such as Object Classification and Speech Recognition.
Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) or Strong AI, are systems that would pass the Turing Test, with an intelligence that produces outputs that are indistinguishable from that of an adult human being. As of publication, no publicly known AGI have been developed.
Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI) or Superintelligence, is another form of AI yet to be developed that contains an intelligence that can produce outputs that would vastly surpass the capacity of a human being.
The first true instance of AI is arguable, with some determining the mechanism used to produce Ars generalis ultima (The Ultimate General Art), published by Ramon Llull in 1308 was an artificial intelligence with the mechanical means to create new knowledge from logic and complex mechanical techniques.
In 1914, Spanish engineer Leonardo Torres y Quevedo demonstrates the first chess-playing machine in Paris, capable of receiving information about a chess game and playing a king and rook endgame against king from any position without the aid of human intervention.
In 1950, Alan Turing publishes Computing Machinery and Intelligence, introducing with it the concept of the “imitation game”. This would later be known as the Turing Test, which tests a machine’s ability to display behavior and produce output that is indistinguishable from that of an adult person.
The years ranging from 1956-1974 are considered the renaissance period of artificial intelligence with developments such as semantic nets, allowing machines to solve algebra word problems, and search algorithms that allowed machines to approach solving problems much like solving a maze.
Following this period the field of AI experienced a sequence of years in lulls and bursts in progress between the years 1974 and 2011 where computing power and amounts of available data would be considerable bottlenecks. This period ends around 2011 where the advents of machine learning and deep learning have demonstrated great leaps in the field, producing agents such as Deep Blue and AlphaGo, computer programs that are able to beat some of the best human board game players in the world.
The ethical implications of artificial intelligence have been explored in philosophy, industry, and culture. Current leaders in AI research with ethics in mind often follow charters that promote inclusion and safety for humanity.