What is artificial intelligence? Most of us probably think we have a general idea — or that we should have a general idea — of the answer to that question. But don’t be ashamed if you don’t; it’s certainly not a dumb question, and in some ways the answer is as complicated as AI itself.

As Science Reporter Dan Vergano says in this week’s “No Dumb Questions,” AI operates in areas that not long ago were assumed to be “the purview of humans,” and the range of these areas is growing by the day.

Along with answering the core question here, Vergano gets at questions about the area of AI known as machine learning and the seemingly endless applications and possibilities, in terms of what AI can do. Along with the myriad opportunities, there are of course all kinds of challenges, and even dangerous pitfalls to consider, in a future in which AI is more and more a part of our lives. There are ethical implications, challenges to existing jobs, and a more mundane problem: Sometimes the AI product just isn’t that good. It’s a fascinating answer to a very relevant question: What is AI?

More “No Dumb Questions” videos:

We’d love to hear from you with other ideas for the series. We like to think that there’s almost nothing in the world of news and information that couldn’t use a little more clarity and context in terms of the answers. Send your ideas and questions to [email protected].

Thanks to Lillian Barkley for copy editing this article.


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