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Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a catch-all term that refers to the ability of machines to demonstrate humanlike decision-making. While there is a range of experts with varying definitions of AI and its parts, many divide AI into two main categories: artificial general intelligence (AGI), which refers to the hypothetical ability of a machine to intellectually perform like a human, and narrow AI, which refers to machines solving more targeted problems or reasoning tasks.


Operational AI is also a common, more specific term to describe an intelligent system designed for real-world, commercial-scale applications. Examples of the types of tasks a machine with AI can perform are visual perception, speech recognition, large-scale analytics, decision-making, and translation between languages.


While there are skeptics who are concerned that AI has the potential to be destructive to humankind, one reason proponents are excited about AI is that it has the potential to outperform humans and accelerate progress. AI is currently being implemented to eliminate or augment mundane, boring, or dangerous tasks that were previously carried out by humans. It also has the ability to overcome pitfalls that come with the constraints of the human mind such as limited speed and capacity to analyze large amounts of data, leading to the discovery of patterns that result in breakthroughs.


AI is already being used across industries in numerous applications. Some examples of AI applications include robots used in manufacturing, self-driving vehicles, virtual assistants, drug discovery, automated financial investing, customer support chatbots, and recommendation engines.


artificial intelligence graphic

Artificial intelligence lies within the field of analytics. Machine learning, neural networks, and deep learning are subsets within the field of AI.


At Molecula

Molecula is an operational AI company focused on helping organizations leverage big data for AI and ML applications.


Related Terms

Artificial general intelligence (AGI)

Artificial narrow intelligence (ANI)

Operational AI

Machine learning (ML)

Neural networks


“The term ‘artificial intelligence’ means a machine-based system that can, for a given set of human-defined objectives, make predictions, recommendations or decisions influencing real or virtual environments.” – National Artificial Intelligence Act of 2020

Learn More

Merriam-Webster entry: artificial intelligence

Wikipedia entry: artificial intelligence

State of AI Report

Harvard University Blog: The History of Artificial Intelligence

US Department of State: Artificial Intelligence