Although we often hear about them, artificial intelligences are rather misunderstood by the majority of people. Let us try and explain what they are and where they come from. The idea of an artificial intelligence was first presented by a team of American scientists in 1956 during the Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence [wikipedia].
Two main points came out of this presentation: First, it was believed that computers would eventually come to think autonomously, as humans do, and that they would be able to solve problems just as, if not more efficiently. This is in fact what was first referred to as artificial intelligence. Second, the creation of a functional artificial intelligence would be relatively simple; according to the team, such a project would take the summer to a dozen scientists.
Whereas the optimism of these scientists was less than realistic, we must still commend their work and recognize that, as a result of said work, immeasurable advances have been made in the field.