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What is AI? Artificial intelligence, or AI, is the field that studies the synthesis and analysis of computational agents that act intelligently. Let us examine each part of this definition.

An agent is something that acts in an environment - it does something. Agents include worms, dogs, thermostats, airplanes, robots, humans, companies, and countries.

We are interested in what an agent does; that is, how it acts. We judge an agent by its actions.

An agent acts intelligently when

   what it does is appropriate for its circumstances and its goals,
   it is flexible to changing environments and changing goals,
   it learns from experience, and
   it makes appropriate choices given its perceptual and computational limitations. An agent typically cannot observe the state of the world directly; it has only a finite memory and it does not have unlimited time to act.