What Is Artificial Intelligence & Why Is It A Good Academic Option?

Published on: December 07, 2022

The term “artificial intelligence” (AI) has been around for a long time, along with various definitions of what it really means. Many people still associate it with the Turing Test, which has been around since 1950 to try and test if a machine could exhibit intelligent behavior well enough to fool a human evaluator. Of course, AI has come a long way since those early days and is already used in real-world applications such as speech recognition, customer service, fraud detection, and much more. One thing is for sure, AI will continue to improve, and students who want to be on the cutting edge of this technology can benefit from an online degree in this field. 

What Is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence is software that is capable of simulating or mimicking human intelligence. The term AI is also commonly applied to the ability of software to simulate intelligent traits, such as learning and problem-solving. 

What Are The Different Types of Artificial Intelligence? 

As AI research continues to progress, so does the level of complexity involved. The types of AI are based on how complex they are and how closely they are able to imitate human intelligence. Currently, only two primary forms of AI are available, namely reactive machines and limited memory AI. Still, researchers believe “theory of mind” and self-aware AI could also be possible in the future.  

Reactive Machines

The most basic form of AI is reactive machines, where no learning occurs, and instead, specific actions are performed based on input. No information is stored for future use, and these types of AI are useful only for basic autonomous functions. This means that the AI will always respond to identical situations in the same ways whenever they are encountered. Examples of reactive machines include spam filters, chess-playing programs, and the Netflix recommendation engine.

Limited Memory

Limited Memory Ai offers an improvement over reactive machines due to their ability to extract knowledge from prior interactions. This means they have the same capabilities as reactive machines but can learn from historical data. Current examples of limited memory AI include everything from chatbots and virtual assistants to self-driving vehicles.

Theory of Mind

Theory of mind is a psychological term that centers around the ability of humans to read emotions and use that information to predict and interpret actions (https://www.simplypsychology.org/theory-of-mind.html). This type of AI is not yet available, but it is something that researchers believe might be possible in the future.  

Self Awareness

Self-awareness is the most common type of AI portrayed in science fiction and comes with many ethical concerns. Self-aware AI would have its own thoughts, emotions, and beliefs that could make it vastly superior to humans. While this type of AI could be very beneficial for humanity, it also comes with considerable risk and has caused a lot of debates among researchers. 

What Are The Benefits of Studying AI?

  • The Rate of AI Adoption Will Continue To Grow

Artificial intelligence has applications in numerous industries, and the rate at which it is being adopted is continuing to grow. 

  • There Is A Big Demand For AI Skills

Because more industries are adopting AI, it also means that there is a greater need for people with the right skills. AI is a rapidly evolving field, and companies prioritize candidates with up-to-date skills and knowledge earned through a degree.

  • Help Make The World A Better Place

Advances in AI have the potential to provide a lot of positive outcomes for people and society. Earning a degree and working in the industry can put you at the forefront of this fulfilling endeavor.

  • It Is Interesting

Because artificial intelligence remains at the forefront of cutting-edge research, it is a fascinating and exciting topic. It is a diverse field that mixes everything from computer science and biology to cybernetics and philosophy. Compared to other fields, AI is still in its relative infancy, which means many exciting discoveries and breakthroughs are to be made.  

What Topics Are Covered In An Online Artificial Intelligence Course?

Online AI study options are available in associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs, which cover a wide range of topics. These topics may include learning frameworks, programming fundamentals, machine learning, computer virtualization, natural language processing, data science in artificial intelligence, and more.

What Career Paths Are Available In AI?

The artificial intelligence field is broad and features a lot of diverse career paths that can be chosen based on your interests. A degree in AI can prepare students for anything from research scientists and AI programmers to user experience engineers, machine learning engineers, business intelligence developers, ethical system developers, product designers, and much more. Many courses also allow students to select from a variety of electives based on their interests, such as robotics, data mining, natural language processing, etc.

What Are Good Skills To Have Before Studying AI?

Artificial intelligence is a highly complex field, and students who want to succeed should be familiar with topics such as calculus, linear algebra, and probability theory.

Some programming experience will also be beneficial, as will familiarity with Linux command workflows. However, there are also entry-level AI courses available that can help students familiarize themselves with the topic without the need for any prior knowledge.


Artificial Intelligence used to be a buzzword, but it is rapidly becoming something that will soon be part of everyday life. While the type of self-aware AI often portrayed in science fiction is still a long way off, plenty of exciting, cutting-edge research is still to be done in the field. With a degree in AI, students can ensure that they play an important role in shaping the future of AI.

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