Artificial intelligence (AI) is the development of computers or machines that can perform tasks which normally require human intelligence. Computers use AI to do tasks that are difficult for people, such as recognising speech, predicting weather patterns, and translating languages. It has become an important field in modern computing science, with practical applications in a wide range of fields including medicine, law and marketing.

Modern AI research often involves elements from the fields of cognitive psychology, computer science and mathematics.

AI is often misunderstood as being the same as machine learning. The difference is that AI is a goal-oriented approach to solving problems, while machine learning is an approach rather than a specific goal. While AI research seeks to create machines with human-like intelligence, it does not necessarily seek to create emotional intelligence. These machines are used widely, in fields such as healthcare, robotics and military technologies.

The first step towards AI was taken in 1950, when British computer scientist Alan Turing presented the “Turing test” for artificial intelligence (AI). This test checked whether or not a computer could exhibit intelligent behaviour equivalent to that of a human being. The Turing test is still in use today.

In 1956, John McCarthy coined the term “artificial intelligence.”

An example of an artificial general intelligence: the Drosophila “mind” (clockwise from top left: a left wing, right wing, and head). This image illustrates the algorithmic process that can be used to create a mind. On the left is the genome sequence; on the right are algorithms for finding solutions to problems based on two arrays of information – one relating to how genes interact with each other during development and another relating to how proteins fold up into specific shapes.