Article sent and published in the magazine Noticiero ALACCSA-R Nº 40 (May – June 2020) of the Asociación Latinoamericana de Cirujanos de Catarata, Segmento Anterior y Refractiva (ALACCSA-R)

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Defining Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not an easy task because of the subjectivity and the different understanding that each person has about the term Intelligence. This discussion comes from the rise of modern computers and it was what led Alan Turing to create his famous test [1].

In order to improve understanding, Russell and Norvig [2] have categorized the definitions found in literature into four groups. They made it based on two dimensions: thought process/reasoning and behavior, which gives us four possible objectives for AI that are to build:

Systems that think like humans.Systems that think rationally
Systems that act like humansSystems that act rationally

A definition I made for Artificial Intelligence after several years of research, working and giving class in the field is that Artificial Intelligence aims to endow the machine with the ability to __________. Feel free to fill in the gap with the capability you want, or even add the word “human” if you want to bring it closer to human beings. For example, endowing the machine with the human ability to speak, to write, to read, to see, to paint, to recognize an object, to make decisions, to drive, etc.

The same can be done for sub-areas of AI, such as Machine Learning that is being highlighted everywhere nowadays. In this way, Machine Learning can be defined as the branch of Artificial Intelligence that aims to provide the machine with the ability to learn.


  1. TURING, A. M., I.—COMPUTING MACHINERY AND INTELLIGENCE, Mind, Volume LIX, Issue 236, October 1950, Pages 433–460,
  2. RUSSELL, Stuart; NORVIG, Peter. Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach. 3rd. ed. USA: Prentice Hall Press, 2009.