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What is AI?

  1. Jul 21, 2008 #1
    In one of our laboratory's coffee breaks, a debate arose but no one was able to give concrete answers. One of the questions was the following:

    What defines a better and a worse AI? Is it simply the speed in which the problems are solved? Or is there a maximum intelligence unrelated to speed?

    Is there some evidence of this?

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 21, 2008 #2
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  4. Jul 21, 2008 #3


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    AI is NOT about speed, it is about simulation of higher brain functioning such as reasoning.
  5. Jul 21, 2008 #4


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    The best definition of AI that I've ever heard was stated during a colloquium at Los Alamos:
  6. Jul 21, 2008 #5
    Thank you.

    You agree then that one can conclude that memory is the mechanism responsible for "maximum intelligence" and processor for the speed.

    But reasoning is also speed related.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  7. Jul 21, 2008 #6


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    No it isn't. No human can beat a handheld calculator for speed at basic math functions, but that doesn't mean a calculator is AI. Computers today are plenty fast enough to beat humans at virtually any pursuit we can figure out how to program them to do. But it is difficult to program them to think like people.

    As others have said, AI is almost entirely a matter of programming.
  8. Jul 21, 2008 #7


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    I like gdp's quote:
    Note that this definition doesn't touch on consciousness or self awareness. An automated car able to stay on a roadway and navigate without human intervention might be a good example of an AI system.

    AI and strong AI are generally considered 'different' primarily in that Strong AI implies sentience/consciousness.

    Definition of AI here:

    John Searle coined the term "strong AI" in a paper here:
    (albeit, I'm not absolutely sure this is the first paper that references the term "strong AI", but I believe it is)
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2017
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