Artificial intelligence (U or C)

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Ragneda

Senior Member
Russian
Hi! I know that the dictionary says that “artificial intelligence “ is uncountable, but what if we’re talking about a separated system for a robot?

For example, “scientists will never design an artificial intelligence which will be good enough to pass the Turing test.”
 
  • Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    To me, the term represents a concept or a field of study, and it's an error to use it to mean an instance of an artificially intelligent being.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    You have already made it countable by using "an", and adding an adjective neither achieves nor amplifies that purpose (though it might draw more attention to it).
    The purpose of my comment was simply to say that the desire to make it countable seems to be misguided.
    If you want it to be countable, what would you want the plural, "artificial intelligences", to mean?
    Even the base word "intelligence" is never really countable.

    That said, I'm aware that the term "artificial intelligences" to denote robotic beings is used, particularly in science fiction, but I don't like it because it's illogical. It would be like referring to humans as "natural intelligences".
     
    Last edited:

    Ragneda

    Senior Member
    Russian
    You have already made it countable by using "an", and adding an adjective neither achieves nor amplifies that purpose (though it might draw more attention to it).
    The purpose of my comment was simply to say that the desire to make it countable seems to be misguided.
    If you want it to be countable, what would you want the plural, "artificial intelligences", to mean?
    Even the base word "intelligence" is never really countable.

    That said, I'm aware that the term "artificial intelligences" to denote robotic beings is used, particularly in science fiction, but I don't like it because it'sillogical. It would be like referring to humans as "natural intelligences".
    Well, I’ve come across many examples of using AI with the indefinite article, but you’re saying that it’s impossible. Is it a common mistake, then?
     

    Ragneda

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Well, I’ve come across many examples of using AI with the indefinite article, but you’re saying that it’s impossible. Is it a common mistake, then?

    Thank you a lot for your answer. I’d like to get some other opinions, though.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Half the characters in the wonderful comic Questionable Content are AIs. It seems both standard and natural in this context; I can't think what else you would call them if you wanted to include the term: AI entities/beings/embodiments/avatars? Hardly.
     
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