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ID number:324829
Published: 13.12.2004.
Language: English
Level: College/University
Literature: n/a
References: Not used

The question of what artificial intelligence is can be reduced to two parts: "what is the nature of artifice" and "what is intelligence"? The first question is fairly easy to answer, though it does point to the question of what it is possible to manufacture (within the constraints of certain types of system, e.g. classical computational systems, of available processes of manufacturing and of possible limits on human intellect, for instance).

The second is much harder, raising questions of consciousness and self, mind (including the unconscious mind) and the question of what components are involved in the only type of intelligence it is universally agreed we have available to study: that of human beings. Intelligent behavior in humans is complex and difficult to study or understand. Study of animals and artificial systems that are not just models of what exists already are also considered widely pertinent.

Several distinct types of artificial intelligence have been elucidated below. Also, the subject divisions, history, proponents and opponents and applications of research in the subject are described. Finally, references to fictional and non-fictional descriptions of AI are provided.

Strong AI and weak AI
One popular and early definition of artificial intelligence research, put forth by John McCarthy at the Dartmouth Conference in 1956, is "making a machine behave in ways that would be called intelligent if a human were so behaving." However this definition seems to ignore the possibility of strong AI (see below). Another definition of artificial intelligence is intelligence arising from an artificial device. Most definitions could be categorized as concerning either systems that think like humans, systems that act like humans, systems that think rationally or systems that act rationally.

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