In this blog, I will talk about Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI became a hot topic over the past few years, and it is growing, at a rather fast pace now. You probably heard about it, as many people, and might now like to put easy words behind these “mysterious” or still foggy terms about AI. Talking to many non-experts in the field of Sciences or of AI, I realized their interest of knowing more about it but somehow feeling lost or left behind by so many information or maybe too complex one.

I therefore decided to create this blog and explain AI and its related topics with easy words, as much as possible. (At least that’s my intention, hope it will be the case!)

I also think this is crucial to get educated (well informed) on this topic as a lot is at stake. A new era is indeed coming, right into us. The recently signed Declaration of Cooperation on Artificial Intelligence by 25 countries within Europe last Friday (Friday, April, 13th) confirms it (you can find the text here).

This blog is my contribution, as a Neuroscientist, to this new era.

I would therefore like to start this blog guiding you, first, through definitions which I think might be necessary to understand AI before going towards more fundamental questions of what is at stake, how it would impact our societies, our future, our world and our vision of it. I would like everyone to understand the basics of AI in order to think through it and be aware of what is currently happening and how it could have an impact on your job, business, organization, and on the world we are currently living. Indeed, people get scared it would take over their jobs, dominate the world, become the next technology revolution or evolutionary step after the human race.

All these considerations might be true but first it is important to be aware of what AI really means and what is behind it. Only after this may you be able to get inspired and imagine how you could apply it in an efficient way into your life, work, business, as well as question yourself about its consequences and limitations, read more about it and have your own opinion.

Via this blog, I want to give you the tools to achieve so.

The term AI has actually been first introduced in the 50s, by John McCarthy, in 1955, an American computer scientist and cognitive scientist, which was among the Founding Fathers of AI attending the “Dartmouth Summer Research project on AI” in 1956. Another name to keep in mind when you think of AI is Alan Turing, a mathematician from the UK, famous for having invented the well-known “Turing test”. The Turing test infers how much a person can discriminate a computer from an human by the actions they are both performing (in the initial test it was via speech). These scientists in the 50s therefore paved the way of AI nowadays. Therefore you might think: why is it picking up now, compared to before? There are few reasons for this.

First of all, data !! As Prof. Manuela Veloso, from the Carnegie Mellon University, said: we became “collector of data”. Lots and lots of data !! This means that we need tools to analyze these data and interpret them. The best way to do so: AI ! Second, subsystems of AI – which have been around since the 80s – only become feasible since the last 5 years due to graphic cards being cheap and accessible nowadays. Finally, AI is used to describe „intelligent“ behavior by machines or computers. A big part of this „intelligence“ comes from the fact that these computers can now „learn“. Hence, to explain what is behind all of this, let’s first define what learning actually means for humans, and then compare this to how machines „learn“ or could learn.

Therefore let’s start to define:

What is “Learning”?

To read more, I invite you to click here now.