AI (also known as intelligent systems) is primarily a branch of computer science but it has borrowed a lot of concepts and ideas from other fields, especially mathematics (particularly logic, combinatorics, statistics, probability and optimisation theory), biology, psychology, linguistics, neuroscience and philosophy.
In this chapter we'll explore a range of these intelligent systems. Inevitably this will mean dealing with ethical and philosophical issues too – do we really want machines to take over some of our jobs? Can we trust them? Might it all go too far one day? What do we really mean by a computer being intelligent? While we won't address these questions directly in this chapter, gaining some technical knowledge about AI will enable you to make more informed decisions about the deeper issues.