What is Artificial Intelligence Exactly?

A.I. is young, beautiful and has just begun to flourish

Artificial Intelligence is the concept of giving machines the ability to think intelligently in a manner similar to that of human intelligence. Before understanding how we can implement human like intelligence on a machine, we first need to answer a very important question. What is intelligence? Interestingly, there is no definitive answer to this question. Defining intelligence has troubled humanity for centuries.

Alan Turing wrote in 1950, defining his now-famous Turing Test:

“A computer would deserve to be called intelligent if it could deceive a human into believing that it was human”

It became clear that giving a solid definition of human intelligence was impossible. Instead, we decided to start breaking down certain aspects of our mind that we think make as intelligent. These aspects became computer science fields under the umbrella of Artificial Intelligence. Some of these include: Learning, planning, problem solving, natural language processing, perception, social intelligence, creativity and much more.

Aspects of Artificial Intelligence:

We attempt to give a brief explanation of some fields of A.I.


Machine learning provides computers with the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed. More specifically, machines use a set of input data and observations and attempt to extract useful information and conclusions from that set using intelligent algorithms. This process is called training. A machine that is able to learn changes its outcome and improves its performance when exposed to new data.


In planning, machines must be able to set goals and achieve them by following several steps. These intelligent agents perceive the world using different methods and try to keep an accurate representation of the state they are in. They use their understanding of the world to make predictions and take actions for their next steps. Each action they take must get them closer to their final goal. Planning problems in real world are extremely difficult since the environment the agent exists in, changes constantly.

Knowledge Representation

A truly intelligent machine must have an accurate representation of the world and extensive knowledge about it, in order to be able to exist harmonically and solve problems without any unwanted outcome. A machine must be able to represent objects, properties, categories, relationships, events and many more. This field of A.I is particularly challenging since it requires machines to understand reasoning and common sense. Although it sounds simple, it is far more complicated.

Problem Solving

The goal of this field is to give machines the ability to solve problems in a similar manner that humans do. The initial approach to this problem, was to enable machines to solve specific problems using step-by-step logical reasoning. The drawback of this approach was that machines require enormous computational resources to solve certain problems. In general, humans use fast, intuitive judgments rather than step-by-step logical deductions. This way of solving problems by “guessing” is at the core of this field’s research the last few years. Some scientist attempt to mimic this behavior using neural networks whereas others try to achieve this by forming statistical models.

Natural Language Processing

Natural language processing gives machines the ability to read, hear and understand human language. Enabling machines to understand our language has many real world applications like information retrieval, question answering, translation and much more. Recent years have seen major breakthroughs and improvements in this field but we still have a long way to go.

A whole new world

Artificial Intelligence has many more fields and applications. We attempted to give an abstract explanation of some of the most popular categories of artificial intelligence but you must keep in mind that we have only scratched the surface of the iceberg. The world of A.I. is young, beautiful and has just begun to flourish.

If you’re interested in learning more about artificial intelligence, we are going to create a series of articles surrounding the field of A.I.This series will include topics such as: Deep Learning and Neural Networks, Self-aware machines, Emotion detection, Robotics and more.

You can find the link to this series here: Exploring Artificial Intelligence

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