There is no generally valid definition of AI. However, there is agreement on the basic idea of mechanising human thought processes and intellectual skills. Models from mathematics and computer science, which enable constant learning and optimisation, are fundamental here. For the actual goal of artificial intelligence is, among other things, to make work easier and even to circumvent human weaknesses. Of course, this holds enormous potential for our technologies.
Deep learning is a specific form of machine learning that uses artificial neural networks with numerous intermediate layers between the input layer and the output layer. Neural networks are trained by repeatedly presenting data. Through this repetition, neural networks gain an "understanding" of how to classify this data. The deep neural network generated in the learning runs can then also be applied to data that it has not yet become familiar with in training.
The beginnings of AI can be traced back to the work of the British mathematician and visionary Alan Turing in 1936 and his well-known Turing machine. However, the research field of artificial intelligence was not formally established until 1956 at a conference at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, where the term "artificial intelligence" was coined.
From the beginning of the 1960s to the beginning of the 1990s, phases of strong AI research activity alternated with phases of rather low activity in the field of AI research. Although the first commercial AI applications such as "MYCIN", an expert system for the treatment of diseases, were already available during this period, it was not until the early 1990s that groundbreaking AI developments became possible due to the increasingly available computing power. For example, the AI chess machine "Deep Blue" from the company IBM defeated the world's best chess champion at the time, Garry Kasparov, for the first time in a tournament.
Promoted by increasingly powerful processors and graphics cards in computers, smartphones and tablets, AI found its way into everyday life from 2010 onwards, for example as part of personal assistants such as Siri (2011) or Alexa (2015). In 2017, the reigning Go world champion, Ke Jie, was beaten by the AlphaGo AI, although for many years Go was considered far too complex for a computer-based game programme. Further groundbreaking AI-based developments, such as autonomous driving, will strongly influence our future everyday life.
Despite this enormous progress in recent years, it can be assessed that the development of artificial intelligence is still relatively in its infancy, especially in the industrial production sector. The prerequisite for sustainable use of industrial AI applications in the future is that AI becomes even more reliable, especially in sensitive areas, and that AI systems are able to explain their decisions so that people can also understand them.