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Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence

In other words, how to entrust a machine with normally human assigned tasks. but in more dangerous contexts, too unhealthy or too boring tasks to attract and keep their full attention.

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It is tempting to draw inspiration from living beings to design machines capable of making decisions and learning from their environment.

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Artificial intelligence has long been used by engineers in the design of programs for turn-based strategy games such as chess and Go but also in the design of machine translation tools.

The term "artificial intelligence" ; has turned out to be very controversial (because of the word intelligence). In fact, on a practical level, a machine is qualified as intelligent if it has a comparable behavior to that which an intelligent being would have in a well-defined context. In no way does this mean that it works using the same mechanisms as those used by an intelligent being or that it copies the functioning of the brain.

Artificial intelligence has become most popular in video games, marketing tools (for online sales sites), customer follow-up tools, assisted maintenance, etc. AI is developing rapidly because of the range of possibilities it offers to design stand-alone machines capable of making simple decisions based on their perception of the environment.


The main capabilities required for a stand-alone machine are:

  • its ability to take decisions,

  • its ability to learn from its context.

These two capabilities are linked because decision making involves the determination of criteria by configuration or by learning. When the environment is naturally highly variable, learning is the only practically usable approach.


Surprise and Information

For Shannon, founder of information theory, information has an essentially random character. A random event is uncertain by definition. This uncertainty is taken as a measure of information. It is the appearance of a rare uncertain event that creates the element of surprise.

To consider that the mere occurrence of a sound event carries interesting information is compatible with the association of the alert with early auditory evoked potentials.

Surprise et information

Learning and Memory

The Institute of Cognitive Sciences (ISC) of the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) publishes in association with McGill University in Montreal a devoted blog to the role of memory in learning, among other topics.

“Remembering and learning“ are so intimately linked that the two are often confused. For those who study them, these two notions refer to different phenomena:

  • Learning refers to a process that will modify subsequent behavior.

  • Remembering is our ability to recall past experiences.

Remembering is therefore essential to all learning as it allows the storage and retrieval of learned information. Memory is nothing more than the trace that remains of learning. "


Human memory is not a unitary process. For psychology, research suggests that different types of memory are at work in humans.

Apprentissage et Mémoire
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Sensorial Organs

Sensory Memory

Short Term Memory

Long Term Memory


  • Sensory Memory retains the information provided by the senses faithfully but very briefly. Its duration is so short (in the order of a few hundred milliseconds to one or two seconds) that it is often considered part of the process of perception. Nevertheless, it is a necessary step for storage in the short-term memory.

  • Short-term Memory temporarily records the events that occur in our lives. It is a face we pass in the street or a phone number we hear that will quickly fade away forever if we do not make a conscious effort to remember it. Its storage capacity is limited to about 7 items and it lasts only a few tens of seconds. Again here, short-term memory is what will enable the next stage of retention, long-term memory.

  • Long-term Memory is not only used to store all the significant events in our lives, but also to retain the meaning of words and learned manual skills. Its capacity seems unlimited and it can last for days, months, years, even a lifetime! However, it is far from infallible, sometimes distorts the facts and tends to become less reliable with age.

  • Forgetting is a normal, even essential, part of memory. In fact, we forget because our brain is organised to eliminate anything that might clutter it unnecessarily.

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