What is artificial intelligence?

The final game of six between Chess Grandmaster Garry Kasparov and IBM's Deep Blue. (Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images)

Artificial intelligence is the machine substitute for human creativity, wisdom, and common sense.

Scientists working in the field want to develop technology that learns on its own and improves over time. The goal is to create machines and software capable of tasks that, when humans perform them, require intuition and problem solving to do well.

Researchers and developers have succeeded in some fields. Take games, for example:

  • In 1962, a computer first beat the checkers world champion.
  • Then in 1997, one beat chess world champion Garry Kasparov.
  • Then in 2016, Google DeepMind's AlphaGo defeated the world champion Lee Sedol at Go, arguably the world's most complex board game.
  • Today, the highest level matches are played between computers themselves.

Recently, to train bots to play the multiplayer game Dota 2, researchers had AIs play the game an equivalent of 180 years every day. The more they played, the better they became. Just like humans. They beat the world's top team earlier this year.

This guide will help introduce you to the subject of artificial intelligence. As you might have guessed, it's a vast field. Choose where you'd like to begin:

Applications, initiatives and projects




  • Artificial general intelligence (Coming soon)