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(ARTIficial intelLECT) A machine that is more intelligent than a human being. The term was coined by Dr. Hugo de Garis at Utah State University. See AI.


(1) See Adobe Illustrator.

(2) (Artificial Intelligence) Devices and applications that exhibit human intelligence and behavior, including robots, driverless cars, medical diagnosis and voice and natural language recognition. AI implies the capability to learn and adapt through experience and to come up with solutions to problems without using rigid, predefined algorithms, which is the approach of non-AI software.

Today's large organizations, search engines and social media sites are learning billions of details about the world's content and human behavior every day. One result of this knowledge is the voice-activated, natural language assistant, such as Apple's Siri, Google Assistant, Microsoft's Cortana and Amazon's Echo (Alexa). See virtual assistant, Big Data, driverless car, machine learning, neural network and expert system.

An Earlier Buzzword
Decades ago, the AI buzzword was very much abused as it referred to any and all advancements. However, the acid test of AI was actually defined in the 1940s by English scientist, Alan Turing, who said, "A machine has artificial intelligence when there is no discernible difference between the conversation generated by the machine and that of an intelligent person" (see Turing test). Question and answer dialog is already here and will continue to get better; however, a "real" conversation like the androids in the movies could take a very long time.

The Loebner Prize
In 1990, American inventor Hugh Loebner launched a competition and annual award for the chatbot that exhibits the most human-like responses. The competition will end when judges believe responses are from a human after interacting with the system via text, speech and images. See AGI, chatbot, social robot, computer generations, neural network, AI anxiety and Watson.

Artificial means Human
The term "intelligence" means processing capability; therefore, every computer is intelligent. However, artificial intelligence implies human-like intelligence. An ironic twist in terminology.

Shakey the Robot
Developed in 1969 by the Stanford Research Institute, Shakey was the first fully mobile robot with artificial intelligence. Seven feet tall, Shakey was named after its rather unstable movements. (Image courtesy of The Computer History Museum,

Forty-Four Years Later - Still a Bit Shaky
Funded by DARPA and made by Boston Dynamics, the 400-pound, 6'2" Atlas was designed for emergency rescue. Built in 2013, Atlas stumbled a lot in its first tests; however, teams of AI engineers are teaching Atlas to become very sophisticated. (Image courtesy of Boston Dynamics,

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