Intro to the Goals of AI

Perhaps the most important thing for a computer scientist to remember about the field is that computers are inherently tools, and while pure research about the general abilities of computers is fascinating, research is only considered truly useable if it can, in short, be used for something. Even though AI may be most interesting for its philosophical questions, it has largely thrived because of the interest of two groups, who have two different goals for the project: industry and cognitive science.

Industry, whether related to goods and services, is concerned primarily with creating

Expert Systems

which demonstrate intelligent behavior, regardless of their resemblance or non-resemblance to human intelligence. The field of cognitive science, however, is a field rising out of psychology, linguistics, philosophy, biology, and computer science which is interested in AI for its ability to

Model Human Intelligence

that is to say, simulating it with the hope of someday replicating or surpassing it. At this point, however, many approaches to AI attempt to bring these two goals together.