What is artificial intelligence? Artificial intelligence is in its most basic form selecting an object, providing the object some parameters, and through exposure to certain elements the object “learns” how to perform a task without human, or programmed intervention. When the object independently learns to act in ways that would be similar to the ways a human would act that is where artificial intelligence comes into play. Recent work with the super computer Watson from IBM and Google AI provides merit that objects can (on certain levels) replicate human reasoning, and sometimes beat the best humans at certain tasks. Although computers and robots have been programmed to perform certain jobs for many years, AI takes these non- human objects abilities to a different level as the item learns instead of just performing based on input from lines of code.
Is artificial intelligence good, bad, or neutral? As with anything it depends. Some well-respected people such as Elon Musk of Tesla have real concerns on what artificial intelligence could mean for the security of the human race. Others, such as Larry Page of Google, believe AI could provide a great benefit. One thing is for certain that in the wrong hands with the right expertise it could be terrible. Another concern about is that a vast swath of middle class jobs may be negatively affected with the advancement of artificial intelligence. As a counter to that concern others believe that new opportunities would be there for the middle class and some of these opportunities may not have been discovered yet. On a positive note it would be fantastic if a cure for a major disease was found either through traditional human research, artificial intelligence, or a combination of both.