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Artificial intelligence denotes software or systems which, through computers, achieve intelligent activities like those of human brains such as learning, reasoning, and judgment. Applications of artificial intelligence include chess matches, translation systems for natural languages that people use daily, and image recognition systems to recognize faces and letters from images. Moreover, research and development efforts are underway in areas such as interactive robots equipped with artificial intelligence and automatic unmanned vehicles.
Research of artificial intelligence began in the 1950s. In the 1970s there was a boom of "expert systems" in which computers accumulated the knowledge of experts and solved problems using that knowledge. At that time, the learning method employed for the systems was to have computers learn the rules and logically find solutions based on the rules. As such, the systems were limited in that they only found solutions within the scope of what they had learned.
In recent years, a learning method called "deep learning," which incorporates the mechanisms of neural circuits in the brain, has drawn attention. As in the human brain, this method is designed to reinforce the circuits that produce correct answers. As the computers themselves learn the characteristics of the data entered into them for learning, they can make judgments even about patterns that they have not yet learned. Employing this method should make it possible to automatically produce explanations for images and motion pictures, conduct highly-accurate automatic translation, and make forecasts in a variety of fields including financial markets, weather, and professional sports.