AI—Welcome to the Age of Machines 怕怕∼機器們都長智慧囉∼ Will artificial intelligence▼ help mankind, or are we doomed to be replaced by smart machines? 人工智慧會幫助人類，抑或是我們注定將被這些智慧型機器所取代呢？
We're hearing a lot these days about something called AI, or artificial intelligence. Some people are excited, saying it's a great scientific achievement. Others are worried about AI taking our jobs or taking over the world. So what is AI, and why is it getting everyone so worked up? Put simply, AI is intelligence that is displayed by machines. In the beginning of computer technology, machines were actually quite stupid. They could only do what people told them to do, and computers lacked the power to do anything complex. Slowly, that began to change.
Computer scientists began finding ways to program machines so that they could solve simple problems on their own. They could learn by analyzing data and taking steps to increase their chances of success. What began as science fiction has turned into a reality through increased computing▼ power. A program in the 1960s called Dendral could help chemists▼identify unknown molecules▼. Still, it was only an electronic assistant. In 1989, though, two AI programs, HiTech and Deep Thought, showed advanced problem-solving skills after they defeated human masters in the game of chess. It was then that people began to see the true potential of AI.
我們現今聽到很多關於 AI，也就是人工智慧的事情。有些人感到興奮，說這是一項偉大的科學成就。其他人則擔心人工智慧會搶走我們的工作或是統治世界。因此，人工智慧 AI 到底是什麼，而它為什麼讓每個人都那麼激動呢？
簡單地說吧，人工智慧 AI 就是由機器所表現出來的智能。在電腦技術草創時期，機器其實是相當笨拙的。它們那時只能聽人類命令行事，且電腦缺乏做各種複雜事情的能力。慢慢地，那種情況開始改變了。
電腦科學家開始尋找為電腦編寫程式的方法，以便讓它們能自行解決簡單的問題。它們可以透過分析數據來學習，並採取措施來增加它們成功的機率。剛開始只是科幻小說的情節，藉由增強電腦的運算能力已成為現實。一個在六○年代名為 Dendral 的系統程式能幫助化學家辨識未知的分子。雖然如此，它在當時僅僅是一個電子助手。然而在 1989 年，兩個人工智慧程式，HiTech 及 Deep Thought，在一場西洋棋大賽中擊敗人類西洋棋大師時，顯現出了高度的問題解決能力。從那時人們就開始見識到人工智慧的真正潛力。
▼artificial intelligence n. 人工智能（縮寫：AI） ▼computing n. 電腦應用 ▼chemist n. 化學家 ▼ molecule n. 分子
1. be doomed to V/N 注定會……（之後接否定或消極的字詞）
The whole plan was doomed to failure from the very beginning.
2. scientific a. 科學（上）的
Members of the scientific community agree that Jim's latest theory is nonsense.
* community n. 團體
3. achievement n. 成就
The Barkley Marathons is so difficult that simply finishing it is a huge achievement.
4. Put simply,... 簡言之，……
= Simply put,...
= To put it simply,...
Put simply, we accept their offer or go bankrupt.
* bankrupt a. 破產的；倒閉的
5. analyze vt. 分析，剖析
You should analyze the pros and cons of quitting your current job before you do it.
* pros and cons n. 利弊，好處與壞處
6. identify vt. 辨識（某人或某物）
At first sight, Crystal identified the man as the thief who had stolen her money.
7. defeat vt. 擊敗
Chris came up with a way to defeat the other team.
8. potential n. 潛力，潛能
Colin has acting potential, but he needs formal training.
本文 "So what is AI, and why is it getting everyone so worked up?" 中的形容詞 worked up（不用於名詞前），表「（對某事）非常不安／激動的」，非正式用法。而片語 work up interest 則表「激起興趣」。另外，還有一個長相雷同的片語為 work sb up，則是指「使某人感到氣憤（激動；不安）／隨時會爆發的」。例：
What are you so worked up about? It isn't worth it.
Dorothy can't work up any interest in that book because the story is boring.
This test isn't that important. Don't work yourself up about it.
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