What is Artificial Intelligence?

What it teaches:

The goal of artificial intelligence is to create computers that are as intelligent as humans. Achieving this goal is a huge, huge challenge.

Today, researchers are making progress and forms of artificial intelligence are starting to appear in everyday life. This video teaches:

• Why artificial intelligence is so challenging to create
• How we use forms of artificial intelligence today
• What is required for computers to teach themselves
• Why empathy and emotional intelligence are very difficult for computers
• What we may see in the distant future

Video Transcript:

Computers do a lot for us these days and can sometimes seem intelligent like a person. But really, they’re more like calculators. Most only do exactly what we program them to do and nothing more.

But this may change in the future. Today researchers are working on artificial intelligence which has the goal of making computers seem to be as intelligent as humans.

Let’s take a look at what’s possible today. Talented programmers can currently provide instructions to computers that help it do amazing things. We’ve seen computers beat professional chess players…and win trivia game shows. We can now have basic conversations with our smart phones.

These are possible because their use is very narrow – the computer can be programmed do a small number of things amazingly well. But the computers we have today are just getting started.

The challenge of true artificial intelligence is a computer with the same broad intelligence as a human. Here, the same computer that can beat you at chess, would be able to teach itself new concepts and react appropriately to your emotions...It would be able to converse with you like another person and comprehend abstract ideas.

This sort of intelligence may be in our future. Here are a couple of the big challenges.

The first is learning to learn. Here, additional instructions from a human wouldn’t be needed for the computer to teach itself new skills, ideas and concepts.

For example, it would be able to learn from experimentation, interactions with humans or exploring data and information from other sources. This gets computers closer to human intelligence.

But the real challenge here is creating computers that have the emotional intelligence and empathy that make us human.

Think about it this way… Human intelligence comes from a huge, complicated mix of life experiences, education, culture, emotion, genetics, and much more. All these things overlap and make us the intelligent people we are.

We take it for granted, but understanding and interacting naturally with humans is really complex. The question is… how do we create instructions for things like empathy and human understanding? How do we program a computer to teach itself how to be more human?

This is a problem that’s very difficult to solve and likely a long way off.

And there is even another level of intelligence that we can imagine.

What if very powerful computers could use all mankind’s knowledge to achieve things that are beyond our current understanding? They would become far more intelligent than the smartest humans.

Some worry that these super intelligent computers may someday be able to work together and become a problem for humans.

But that’s not a worry today. We’re a long way from this level of intelligence. We’re still working on solving narrow problems and learning. But over time, we can look forward to artificial intelligence becoming a bigger part of our lives.


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