What is Artificial Intelligence?

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What do you know about Artificial Intelligence? How do you use it in your everyday life?

This course will introduce you to the concept of Artificial Intelligence, its types, history as well as benefits and risks to society.

After our class discussion, you'll be able to study the following units and make your own contribution suggesting a product of A.I. of your imagination and how it could be used effectively.


Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
  • Get familiarized with new concepts and vocabulary
  • Gain a deeper understanding of A.I. and its benefits/risks
  • Participate in discussions and share new ideas
  • Practice your writing skills, use your imagination and engage in creative writing
Lectures Model

Mixed Learning


What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

AI (Artificial Intelligence) is a machine’s ability to perform cognitive functions as humans do, such as perceiving, learning, reasoning, and solving problems. The benchmark for AI is the human level concerning in teams of reasoning, speech, and vision.

Experts regard artificial intelligence as a factor of production, which has the potential to introduce new sources of growth and change the way work is done across industries. For instance, this PWC article predicts that AI could potentially contribute $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2035. China and the United States are primed to benefit the most from the coming AI boom, accounting for nearly 70% of the global impact.

Goals of Artificial Intelligence

Here are the main Goals of AI:

  • It helps you reduce the amount of time needed to perform specific tasks.
  • Making it easier for humans to interact with machines.
  • Facilitating human-computer interaction in a way that is more natural and efficient.
  • Improving the accuracy and speed of medical diagnoses.
  • Helping people learn new information more quickly.
  • Enhancing communication between humans and machines.


A Brief History of Artificial Intelligence

Here’s a brief timeline of the past six decades of how AI evolved from its inception.

1956 - John McCarthy coined the term ‘artificial intelligence’ and had the first AI conference.

1969 - Shakey was the first general-purpose mobile robot built. It is now able to do things with a purpose vs. just a list of instructions.

1997 - Supercomputer ‘Deep Blue’ was designed, and it defeated the world champion chess player in a match. It was a massive milestone by IBM to create this large computer.

2002 - The first commercially successful robotic vacuum cleaner was created. 

2005 - 2019 - Today, we have speech recognition, robotic process automation (RPA), a dancing robot, smart homes, and other innovations make their debut.

2020 - Baidu releases the LinearFold AI algorithm to medical and scientific and medical teams developing a vaccine during the early stages of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic. The algorithm can predict the RNA sequence of the virus in only 27 seconds, which is 120 times faster than other methods. 



So, how do you use A.I. in your everyday life? Give examples and discuss them with your classmates in the forum section!

Below are the various types of AI:

1. Purely Reactive

These machines do not have any memory or data to work with, specializing in just one field of work. For example, in a chess game, the machine observes the moves and makes the best possible decision to win. 

2. Limited Memory

These machines collect previous data and continue adding it to their memory. They have enough memory or experience to make proper decisions, but memory is minimal. For example, this machine can suggest a restaurant based on the location data that has been gathered.

3. Theory of Mind

This kind of AI can understand thoughts and emotions, as well as interact socially. However, a machine based on this type is yet to be built. 

4. Self-Aware

Self-aware machines are the future generation of these new technologies. They will be intelligent, sentient, and conscious.


See also Role of Artificial Intelligence in 21st Century 

1) Reduction in Human Error:

The phrase “human error” was born because humans make mistakes from time to time. Computers, however, do not make these mistakes if they are programmed properly. With Artificial intelligence, the decisions are taken from the previously gathered information by applying a certain set of algorithms. So errors are reduced and the chance of reaching accuracy with a greater degree of precision is a possibility. For example, in Weather Forecasting using AI they have reduced the majority of human error.

2) Takes risks instead of Humans:

This is one of the biggest advantages of Artificial intelligence. We can overcome many risky limitations of humans by developing an AI Robot which in turn can do the risky things for us. Let it be going to mars, defuse a bomb, explore the deepest parts of oceans, mining for coal and oil, it can be used effectively in any kind of natural or man-made disasters.

AI Robots can be used in such situations where intervention can be hazardous.

3) Available 24x7:

An Average human will work for 4–6 hours a day excluding the breaks. Humans are built in such a way to get some time out for refreshing themselves and get ready for a new day of work and they even have weekly offed to stay intact with their work-life and personal life. But using AI we can make machines work 24x7 without any breaks and they don’t even get bored, unlike humans.

4) Helping in Repetitive Jobs:

In our day-to-day work, we will be performing many repetitive works like sending a thanking mail, verifying certain documents for errors and many more things. Using artificial intelligence we can productively automate these mundane tasks and can even remove “boring” tasks for humans and free them up to be increasingly creative.

5) Digital Assistance:

Some of the highly advanced organizations use digital assistants to interact with users which saves the need for human resources. The digital assistants also used in many websites to provide things that users want. We can chat with them about what we are looking for. Some chatbots are designed in such a way that it’s become hard to determine that we’re chatting with a chatbot or a human being.

6) Faster Decisions:

Using AI alongside other technologies we can make machines take decisions faster than a human and carry out actions quicker. While taking a decision human will analyze many factors both emotionally and practically but AI-powered machine works on what it is programmed and delivers the results in a faster way.

7) Daily Applications:

Daily applications such as Apple’s Siri, Window’s Cortana, Google’s OK Google are frequently used in our daily routine whether it is for searching a location, taking a selfie, making a phone call, replying to a mail and many more.

8) New Inventions:

AI is powering many inventions in almost every domain which will help humans solve the majority of complex problems.


Can you think of more benefits of A.I.? Discuss them in the forum section and give examples!

1) High Costs of Creation:

As AI is updating every day the hardware and software need to get updated with time to meet the latest requirements. Machines need repairing and maintenance which need plenty of costs. It’ s creation requires huge costs as they are very complex machines.

2) Making Humans Lazy:

AI is making humans lazy with its applications automating the majority of the work. Humans tend to get addicted to these inventions which can cause a problem to future generations.

3) Unemployment:

As AI is replacing the majority of the repetitive tasks and other works with robots,human interference is becoming less which will cause a major problem in the employment standards. Every organization is looking to replace the minimum qualified individuals with AI robots which can do similar work with more efficiency.

4) No Emotions:

There is no doubt that machines are much better when it comes to working efficiently but they cannot replace the human connection that makes the team. Machines cannot develop a bond with humans which is an essential attribute when comes to Team Management.

5) Lacking Out of Box Thinking:

Machines can perform only those tasks which they are designed or programmed to do, anything out of that they tend to crash or give irrelevant outputs which could be a major backdrop.


Can you think of more risks of A.I.? Discuss them in the forum section and give examples!




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