Artificial Intelligence – Can a machine be programmed to think as a human?

Artificial Intelligence – Can a machine be programmed to think as a human?

According to the father of Artificial Intelligence, John McCarthy, Artificial Intelligence is “The science and engineering of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs”.

Artificial Intelligence is a way of making a computer, a computer-controlled robot, or a software think intelligently, in the similar manner the intelligent humans think.

AI is based on many disciplines apart from Computer Science

  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Linguistics
  • Mathematics
  • Engineering

A major thrust of AI is in the development of computer functions associated with human intelligence, such as reasoning, learning, and problem solving.

So now let’s focus on the areas where we are using AI in the current scenario –

  1. Gaming 
  2. Natural Language Processing 
  3. Expert Systems
  4. Vision Systems
  5. Speech Recognition
  6. Handwriting Recognition
  7. Intelligent Robots

To add on there is huge list of available tools for personal use based on AI.  We have listed some of them below


  • Carly — helps you manage phone calls
  • ETCH — helps you manage your networks into a searchable database
  • Findo — Your smart search assistant across email, files &personal cloud
  • Leap — recommends companies to apply for based on your skills
  • Lomi — identifies sales leads
  • Mosaic — helps you write better resumes


  • Thirdleap — helps children to learn maths
  • Woogie — the conversational AI robot that makes learning and discovery fun for children

Health / Medical

  • Abi —a health assistant which connects people to doctors for quick advice
  • Ada — can help if you’re feeling unwell
  • Airi — personal health coach
  • — helps you care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s
  • Amélie — chatbot for mental health

 Agents — Personal

  • Amazon Echo / Alexa — everyday personal assistant for in-home
  • Apple Siri — everyday personal assistant on iPhone and Mac
  • Cortana— everyday personal assistant on PC and Windows devices
  • Facebook M — competitors to Siri, Now and Cortana

Social media / Website management

  • Firedrop — websites designed automatically, just add content and publish
  • Hashley — ironic hash tag and comment generator for your photos
  • — throw content at it and it builds you a website


  • Dispatch — delivery by robot
  • Jibo — an friendly interactive robot for the home
  • Roboy— a humanoid robot aimed to be as capable as a human
  • Rokid — a range of in-home robots and assistants

Surprised! Some of them we haven’t even heard or thought of.

Artificial Intelligence is nowadays also helping customers to select the best outfit. Below we present the case study for an online personalised clothing retailer and how AI is helping them boost their business -

Case Study: Algorithms for evening wear

Stitch Fix, an online personalised clothing retailer, has machine learning in its DNA, according to Eric Colson, its chief algorithms officer. Founded in 2011 in San Francisco, its business model from the start has been predicated on the marriage of personal stylists, detailed customer-provided data and powerful algorithms. Machine learning techniques are increasingly being used to refine the algorithms and augment—rather than replace, says Mr Colson— the work of its personal stylists and, ultimately, its customers’ satisfaction with the clothing they purchase.

 At the heart of things is the company’s “styling algorithm”, which selects clothes for the customer once he or she completes a detailed online questionnaire about size measurements, colours and other preferences. It is performed, according to Mr Colson, by both machines and humans. “An algorithm is just a set of instructions. And all the steps in the instructions are performed by different types of processors. Some are better suited to machines; others to humans.”

A machine learning component, he says, more precisely learns what the customer’s ‘true’ size is. There are no standards for sizing across apparel brands. Stitch Fix uses feedback received from customers after trying on the clothing to determine how each brand actually fits. The algorithm is able to learn about each customer’s individual preferences and how each piece of merchandise fits on various types of customers. “That’s a machine task, involving millions of calculations,” says Mr Colson. “You can’t ask a human to perform that.”

Customers, however, often include deeply personal notes in their questionnaire responses, and they expect a human to respond, explains Mr Colson. An example: “A woman’s husband is returning from a six-month tour of military duty overseas, and she wants an outfit for a very special date night. Only the personal stylist, a human, knows what that means to the customer. They can empathise.” For the algorithms to perform well, he says, “you need the right resource to do each of those tasks. The machines are one and humans are another.” The company recently launched a “computer vision” algorithm which enables machines to use images to learn a customer’s style. “Sometimes it’s easier for a customer to articulate preferences with a picture than in words,” explains Mr Colson. “Our customers make us Pinterest pin boards of things they like, and we—both our human stylists and our machines— ingest them. Then we can find out more about our customer choices.”

As per the case study mentioned above ,

44% of executives say delaying AI implementation will make their business vulnerable to new, disruptive tech start-ups making AI a must for all organizations to adopt .

Though AI is emerging to be one of the leading technologies today; there are concerns being raised by eminent tech titans. While it will certainly decrease the demand for human labour, AI is also being considered a threat to privacy.

As rightly quoted by Stephen Hawking –

The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race. Once humans develop artificial intelligence, it will take off on its own and redesign itself at an ever-increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn't compete and would be superseded.”

Only time and research can predict how good or how bad AI will be in future. The ethical dilemma of bestowing moral responsibilities on robots calls for rigorous safety and preventative measures that are fail-safe, or the threats are too significant to risk. The real risk is that we are putting too much trust in the smart systems we are building and we need to have a guideline on when and where to stop.













   Comment    10-08-2017 1 : 5 PM