Artificial intelligence (AI)

The major limitation in defining AI as simply "building machines that are intelligent" is that it doesn't actually explain what artificial intelligence is? What makes a machine intelligent?


In their groundbreaking textbook Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach, authors Stuart Russell and Peter Norvig approach the question by unifying their work around the theme of intelligent agents in machines. With this in mind, AI is "the study of agents that receive percepts from the environment and perform actions."


four different approaches that have historically defined the field of AI:


  • Thinking humanly
  • Thinking rationally
  • Acting humanly
  • Acting rationally

Narrow Artificial Intelligence


Narrow AI is all around us and is easily the most successful realization of artificial intelligence to date. With its focus on performing specific tasks, Narrow AI has experienced numerous breakthroughs in the last decade that have had "significant societal benefits and have contributed to the economic vitality of the nation," according to "Preparing for the Future of Artificial Intelligence," a 2016 report released by the Obama Administration.


A few examples of Narrow AI include:

  • Google search
  • Image recognition software
  • Siri, Alexa and other personal assistants
  • Self-driving cars
  • IBM's Watson