Artificial Intelligence (AI) has left the confines of science fiction to shape the contours of our lives. While Cortana, Siri, Alexa and other “intelligent assistants” help us perform all sorts of tasks, tech startups relentlessly launch other AI-driven products to tackle a growing list of human concerns — from personal finance (robo advisors) and customer service (chatbots) to romance (dating bots) and health (medical bots). Given the spreading influence of AI, Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt recently remarked that we’re inexorably heading towards the “Age of Intelligence.”
But, have we truly imbued machines with intelligence?
The answer depends on how you define AI. The term “AI” is widely abused and used to describe all levels of automation, even rule-based scripting. AI experts maintain a much higher bar, setting “artificial general intelligence (AGI)” and the most strident variants of the Turing Test as the field’s Holy Grail. Making things murkier, there are other terms to consider: strong AI, weak AI, machine learning, deep learning – what do they all mean?