Artificial Intelligence

… a core concept used in Managing New Technologies and Atlas112M

Concept description

The Treasury Board of Canada (reference below) defines artificial intelligence as “information technology that performs tasks that would ordinarily require biological brainpower to accomplish, such as making sense of spoken language, learning behaviours, or solving problems.”

The technology site TNW (reference below) does not refer to humans and defines artificial intelligence as “a specific field of computer engineering that focuses on creating systems capable of gathering data and making decisions and/or solving problems.”

The Council of Europe (reference below) does make the human comparison and defines artificial intelligence as a “set of sciences, theories and techniques whose purpose is to reproduce by a machine the cognitive abilities of a human being.” and states:

“Current developments aim, for instance, to be able to entrust a machine with complex tasks previously delegated to a human. However, the term artificial intelligence is criticized by experts who distinguish between “strong” AI (who are able to contextualize very different specialized problems completely independently) and “weak” or “moderate” AI (who perform extremely well in their field of training). According to some experts, “strong” AI would require advances in basic research to be able to model the world as a whole and not just improvements in the performance of existing systems.”

For the history of AI, see Artificial Intelligence (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).

For an excellent May 2017 TEDx talk from a Christine Fox, Assistant Director for Policy and Analysis of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and former Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense, see The ethical dilemma we face on AI and autonomous tech.

See also: Artificial Intelligence and Public Policy and The Ethical Algorithm – The Science of Socially Aware Algorithm Design (Michael Kearns and Aaron Roth, 2019).

Atlas topic, subject, and course

Managing New Technologies (core topic) in Information and Technology Management and Atlas112M Management of Human, Information, and Technology Resources.


Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, Directive on Automated Decision-Making, Appendix A – Definitions, at, accessed 26 February 2021.

TNW (The Next Web, 2017), A glossary of basic artificial intelligence terms and concepts, at, accessed 26 February 2021.

Council of Europe, Artificial Intelligence, Glossary, at, accessed 26 February 2021.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified 26 February 2021.

Image: The Sentinel, Artificial Intelligence in libraries, at, accessed 26 February 2021.