What is AI?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a scientific discipline which tries to
operationalize human intellectual and cognitive capabilities in order to
make the available through information processing systems.
Speaking with Kant we will interpret intellect as the capacity of rules
in contrast to reason as capacity of principles.
The intrinsically interdisciplinary character of AI is implied by its goals:
Even though AI's origins place it within computer science, thereby giving
a strong emphasis on its engineering science components, it is only
possible to pursue AI in close cooperation with philosophy, psychology,
linguistics, physics, physiology and the neurosciences. All of these are
fundamental for AI's cognitive science aspects.
Despite these foundations, we have to deal with the concept of
intelligence as such. Intelligence is the general ability of an
individual to consciously tune his or her mind to new problems posed by the
environment. Intelligence is a general intellectual adaptability to as yet
unexperienced conditions in life. This relatively unprecise definition by
the psychologist William Stern in 1912 has led to numerous efforts to
develop a coherent theory of intelligence. None of these efforts of
explanation was so far able to do justice to the complexity of the
phenomenon of intelligence, not even approximately so. Today's consensus is
that intelligence is to be seen as the basic cognitive capacity aided by a
competence to make judgements and the capability to see and foresee
possibilities, but also to understand causal relations and to gain
Surely intelligence is most clearly visible in human problem solving
abilities. The mode, the speed and the efficiency of human adaptability to
the environment (accomodation) or human abilities to adjust the environment
to his needs (assimilation) are important characteristics of intelligence.
However, intelligence is not only shown in abstract intellectual
achievements as in logical thinking, arithmetic or memory, but also in the
capacity of reflection. Intelligence is just as obvious in the use of words
and rules of grammar as in the recognition of objects and processes, etc.
Creativity also plays a very important role in problem solving.
Creativity can be seen as the ability to include information, experiences
and processes that seem to lie beyond the information concerning the problem
that is being solved.