Artificial Intelligence in a Nutshell

Original article was published on Artificial Intelligence on Medium

Artificial Intelligence in a Nutshell

What is the status and where does it lead?

Futuristic fantasy?

Our brain is a complex network of around 85 billion nerve cells, so-called neurons, to which we owe our thinking. It is the part of our body that enables us to learn, reason, and think abstractly and intelligently. Depending on your point of view, this complex organ can be seen as a gift from God or Mother Nature. But is it reserved for nature to create something so big? Can the organ or its ability, the intelligence, be artificially reproduced? Is there artificial intelligence?

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Artificial intelligence (`AI` for short), a term that most people only know from action films and science fiction novels. AI often has the role of the all-destroying machine there. An enemy of the human.
But artificial intelligence is not as far away and abstract as in these examples. Artificial intelligence is already part of our everyday life and it is hard to imagine modern society without it. Even though, at the moment, artificial intelligence has probably not even reached a fraction of its potential.

By definition, an AI is nothing more than an algorithm, a computer code. There are three different types of artificial intelligence:
Everyone knows the weak AI. This AI specializes in certain areas, for example, a search engine. The more you use it, the more precisely it knows what you’re looking for because it uses the search results to independently write new algorithms that suit the user. Another example of weak AI is a machine that was able to defeat the then reigning world chess champion.

A strong AI, on the other hand, is not limited to one area but can link different areas, draw conclusions, and learn more and more. This AI has the same intellectual skills as a human.
Finally, there is an artificial superintelligence. This is able to learn an infinite amount and would be far superior to humans in every area. So far, however, only weak AI has been invented. But how far are today’s artificial intelligences?

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Two things are clear: First, digital companies like Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and Google are investing billions in research on AI. Second: artificial intelligence is currently being developed and used rapidly and is celebrating success after success. It is therefore foreseeable that artificial systems will learn and be able to learn more and more.

This inevitably leads to three questions: First, what should and will they be able to do? Second, what is the goal of their use? And third, what role do humans play in this?