Artificial intelligence (AI, also machine intelligenceMI) is intelligence demonstrated by machines, in contrast to the natural intelligence (NI) displayed by humans and other animals. In computer science AI research is defined as the study of “intelligent agents”: any device that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of successfully achieving its goals. Colloquially, the term “artificial intelligence” is applied when a machine mimics “cognitive” functions that humans associate with other human minds, such as “learning” and “problem solving”.

The scope of AI is disputed: as machines become increasingly capable, tasks considered as requiring “intelligence” are often removed from the definition, a phenomenon known as the AI effect, leading to the quip, “AI is whatever hasn’t been done yet.”  For instance, optical character recognition is frequently excluded from “artificial intelligence”, having become a routine technology. Capabilities generally classified as AI as of 2017 include successfully understanding human speech, competing at the highest level in strategic game systems, autonomous cars, intelligent routing in content delivery network and military simulations.

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