#1. Self-driving cars, instant voice translators, and smart speakers: What do these have in common?
#2. What is the mechanism behind the customized data or recommended products that we see in diverse areas such as news, movies, social media, shopping, and navigation?
#3. The common factor behind these various services and products that reduce costs and increase convenience―and the numerous recommendation algorithms―is none other than AI, or artificial intelligence.
#4. What exactly is AI?
#5. Simply put, AI is a wide range of technologies that enable machines to perform complex tasks, like humans, by mimicking human intelligence.
#6. John McCarthy, recognized as “the father of Artificial Intelligence,” defined AI as “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines.”
#7. There is a variety of definitions, depending on how the AI is developed or realized.
But there is not yet a common, universal definition.
#8. Still, the fundamental concepts of AI are machine learning (ML), in which a machine learns by identifying hidden patterns in data, and deep learning, which originates in and evolves from machine learning.
#9. Stanford professor Arthur Samuel, a pioneer in the field of machine learning, defined it as a “field of study that gives computers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed.”
#10. In other words, machine learning is a tool that allows a machine to learn on its own from data, without prior coding.
#11. Deep learning, which has recently gained significant attention, means that computers can learn independently by developing the ability to classify data based on artificial neural networks.
#12. Rather than simply running a scripted program, the machine seeks to solve problems independently, based on the acquired information, and learn even more.
#13. While there are positive views on artificial intelligence, there are also a number of concerns over security, such as about the hacking of personal data, and a distrust of machines outperforming humans.
#14. But this has little to do with the kind of back-and-forth between extremes that we see in some books or movies―either a utopia based on technological optimism or a dystopia based on super-intelligent machines that overtake humans.
To understand the issue, we must grasp the concepts of strong and weak artificial intelligence.
#15. If “strong” AI is universally used in various fields and independently learns and makes decisions, and “weak” AI is that which assists humans within a specific area, with supercomputer-like capabilities, then we have currently entered the early stage of weak artificial intelligence.
#16. Although strong AI, like Skynet in the movie Terminator, exists only in fiction, weak AI, or Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI), is already in wide use in daily life―for instance, when we send emails, browse the internet, use smartphones, drive a car, or pay with a credit card.
#17. So the question is, how has artificial intelligence developed over time, and what role does it play in our lives?
#18. From simply taking over repetitive tasks traditionally performed by humans, AI has advanced to the level of making complex decisions, such as product recommendations and medical diagnosis.
One major example is Watson, an AI developed by IBM.
#19. AI today has taken the next step to reach the stage of recognizing emotions as humans do, and working in various fields such as literature and music.
#20. How will Artificial Intelligence change our lives in the future?