Artificial Intelligence has been the subject of many movies and countless science fiction novels. But what happens when we seriously consider the question of computers that think. Is it possible for computers to have complex thoughts, and even emotions? This paper will seek to answer that question and give an idea about how artificial intelligence will effect the world of tomorrow. As has long been known, invincible chess can theoretically be played by a mindless system, as long as it follows a simple algorithm, routinely learned by computer science undergraduates, that traces out the consequences of each possible move until either a mate or draw position is found. In the spring of 1996, IBM's Deep Blue computer defeated the world's greatest living chess player, Gary Kasparov. But Deep Blue, while an impressive chess player, does not remotely demonstrate human like thinking.

(Masci) Artificial Intelligence is the capacity of a digital computer or computer controlled robot device to perform tasks commonly associated with the higher intellectual processes characteristic of humans, such as the ability to reason, discover meaning, generalize, or learn from past experience. Intelligence is the computational part of the ability to achieve goals in the world. Varying kinds and degrees of intelligence occur in people, many animals and some machines. So far, there is no solid definition of intelligence that doesn't depend on relating it to human intelligence. The problem is that we cannot yet characterize in general what kinds of computational procedures we want to call intelligent. We understand some of the mechanisms of intelligence and not others.

Intelligence involves mechanisms, and AI research has discovered how to make computers carry out some of them and not others. If doing a task requires only mechanisms that are well understood today, computer programs can give very impressive performances on these tasks. The ultimate effort is to make computer programs that can solve problems and achieve goals in the world as well as humans. However, many people involved in particular research areas are much less ambitious.

Most artificial intelligence researchers believe that new fundamental ideas are required, and therefore it cannot be predicted when human level intelligence will be achieved. Computer Science is of two minds about artificial intelligence. Some computer scientists believe that all human thought is algorithmic and that artificial intelligence engineers will eventually replicate the human mind and create a robot complete with feelings and emotions. Others feel that human thought can only be simulated in a computational device.

If they are right, future robots may exhibit much of the behavior of persons, but none of these robots will ever be a person. Their inner life will be as empty as a rock's. (Bringsjord) There are many benefits of artificial intelligence. A lot of these benefits deal with the medical field. Medical artificial intelligence is primarily concerned with the construction of artificial intelligence programs that perform diagnosis and make therapy recommendations. Unlike medical applications based on other programming methods, such as purely statistical and probabilistic methods, medical Artificial Intelligence programs are based on symbolic models of disease entities and their relationship to patient factors and clinical manifestations.

The study of artificial intelligence in medicine is nearly thirty years old. This field has attracted many of the best computer scientists to try and find ways of constructing computers or creating programs that can diagnose and make therapeutic recommendations. According to Dr. Enrico Ciera, the field of artificial intelligence in medicine has not been successful. The recent work in artificial intelligence in medicine has addressed problems common to the fields of medicine and artificial intelligence. With the emphasis in medicine shifting to more evidence based practice, the field of artificial intelligence in medicine is positioned to help provide solutions for the evolving field of medicine.

The developers of artificially based systems must work to determine which aspects of medical practice are best suited to the implementation of artificial intelligence systems. (Ethics) Meanwhile, companies ranging from General Motors to American Express are using robots, expert systems and other developments more and more in real world applications. When dealing with artificial intelligence, the question is always asked, "Could machines that surpass human intelligence pose a danger to humanity?" (Masci) This seems unlikely to most, but to many, it is seen as a possible threat. First machines will replace workers in places like factories, where tens of thousands of robots are already in use. These new employees would work 24-hour shifts, never strike or call in sick and entail authorization and running costs less than a human's wages.

Soon after that machines will be replacing clerical workers and then middle managers. People will lead lives devoid of work and filled with leisure. The new machine run economy will be much more efficient and produce much more wealth. Eventually machines will have the responsibility and complete control over humanity. When machines acquire superior intelligence, they will be impossible to control.

Machines may conclude that they no longer need or want human beings. Being replaced by a machine does not trouble some artificial intelligence experts. Marvin Minsky believes, "human beings should feel good about being replaced by robots, especially since they, unlike us, will be able to continue evolving into more sophisticated beings." (Masci) This is a scary possibility that may face future generations. There are many possibilities as to what the future may hold for artificial intelligence. For now, no one can be sure whether robots will be like George Lucas' friendly C-3 PO and R 2-D 2 or more along the lines of the machines in The Matrix who took over the humans and used them as batteries. Will people merge with artificial intelligence and use it to enhance their own abilities or will it take over mankind? For now, it remains a mystery.

All we can be sure of is that artificial intelligence will effect the future in one way or another.