Chapter 1. An introduction to artificial intelligence

This chapter covers

  • Gaining perspective about the history of artificial intelligence
  • Understanding machine learning and its relationship to AI
  • Exploring the drivers of the explosion in AI applications

Artificial intelligence (AI) is not a new technology. For decades, computer scientists have tried different approaches to reach the holy grail of computing: intelligent machines. While we are still far away from replicating the wonders of the human brain, AI applications have started to fill our daily lives and power our electronic devices, from smartphones to home alarm systems.

Why this seemingly sudden explosion? This chapter will answer this question by teaching you about modern AI--including the core principles behind it, and how and why we got to where we are now.

1.1 The path to modern AI

As humans, we’ve always tried to find ways to understand the world around us and bend nature to meet our goals. To do so, we have always relied on external tools that amplify our brain’s capabilities.

1.2 The engine of the AI revolution: machine learning

1.3 What is artificial intelligence, after all?

1.4 Our teaching method