Artificial Intelligence(AI) essentially, is the process by which an computer system solves a problem or completes a task in a manner that mimics, to some degree, human learning and decision making.
Though the field of artificial intelligence has only been around for about 60 years, since the term was coined, there have been numerous landmarks in its history. After the field’s inception, the first major breakthrough came in the form of the logical theorist program created by Herbert Simon and Allen Newell in 1956. The program was designed to solve problems and was put to work on the Principia Mathematica of which it would prove 38 theorems. They soon followed this up with the general problem solver in 1957, which was capable of solving any problem so long as it was expressed as a well formed formula. One year later John McCarthy created a programming language called LISP while at MIT. The programming language was heavily influenced by Alonzo Church’s lambda calculus. LISP is currently one of the oldest high level languages still in use today, with its two major variants being Common Lisp and Scheme.
One of the first AI's to play games was a checkers program written by Arthur Samuel in the 1959. The next major landmark in AI was the chess playing program, Deep Blue, developed by IBM. On may 11th, 1997 Deep Blue became the first computer to defeat a world champion, beating Garry Kasparov, the chess Grandmaster in a six game match.
Today the term artificial intelligence has become somewhat of a blanket term. When people talk about AI they are usually referring to software that is capable of making some kind of decision. This is often anything from the personal assistant software common on phones today to the program that plays you in online chess.
Some of the most common examples of artificial intelligence in the mainstream come in the form of user predictive search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing . These types of search engines use algorithms to process a user's data to find with it "thinks" is most likely the kind of content you are looking to see. AI is also the general term that is given to the assistants that are frequently integrated into smart devices. These include google assistant on the android platform, Siri on iOS, Alexa on Amazon connected devices and Cortana on Windows computers.