If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
You're sitting at home minding your own business when you get a call from your credit card's fraud detection unit asking if you've just made a purchase at a department store in your city. It wasn't you who bought expensive electronics using your credit card – in fact, it's been in your pocket all afternoon. So how did the bank know to flag this single purchase as most likely fraudulent? Credit card companies have a vested interest in identifying financial transactions that are illegitimate and criminal in nature. According to the Federal Reserve Payments Study, Americans used credit cards to pay for 26.2 billion purchases in 2012.
Hundreds of millions of people around the world suffer from visual impairment. A new program from Microsoft utilizes machine learning techniques and artificial intelligence to help diagnose and treat the condition, according to a report from Mashable. Earlier this year, Microsoft teamed with the not-for-profit LV Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) in India, which provided the computing giant with access to more than one million anonymized medical records. Those records were tossed into Microsoft's cloud-based machine learning program and processed. The data gave Microsoft the ability to look through and analyze a wide range of procedures, providing a better understanding as to why a certain operation is chosen and the results of different surgeries for the eye patients.