Artificial intelligence (AI)

Where can I find information about artificial intelligence (AI) and how it works?

Entry last updated: 13/01/21


Artificial Intelligence or AI, is an area of computer science that concerns machines making intelligent responses and thinking and reacting like humans.

History of AI

In the 1930's Alan Turing developed a theory of computation which suggested that computers could replicate mathematical thinking. It is for this work that he is generally considered to be the father of AI.

The field of AI research was founded at a science workshop at Dartmouth College in 1956. Those that attended went on to lead AI research for the next 20 years.


For more information and a good overview on the history of AI, try this free online encyclopedia.

  • Enter the keywords 'AI' or 'Artificial Intelligence' into the search bar at the top right of the page.
  • This will return a range of results under different categories.
  • The Computing category has the most relevant results eg. artificial intelligence.
  • Once you are reading your entry, make a note of any words in blue as these are extra links you can open to read more about a certain topic. You may want to open these links on a new page.
Tips: Wikipedia has great coverage of many topics, including Artificial Intelligence, but you need to be aware that this information is contributed by lots of different people. If you are using this site, it always pays to check the information against that on other sites or in books from the library.

How AI works

Many computers use a set of rules loosely based on the human brain, to interpret data, recognise patterns, perform logical equations and potentially even come up with new ideas based on this data.

Science in Context

This is one of the EPIC databases. EPIC is a collection of reliable databases covering lots of different topics. It’s put together especially for New Zealand school students and helps to answer questions like this. Here you could find articles, pictures or news about artificial intelligence.

  • Enter the keywords 'AI' or 'Artificial Intelligence' into the search bar at the top of the page.
  • This will bring up a range of results eg. Artificial intelligence (AI).
  • The symbol next to the resource shows the content level. Keep an eye out for yellow boxes.
  • Use the 'Search within results' search box to narrow your topic down.
Tips: Search words, or keywords, are the most important words in our question. Usually it’s better to leave out small words like ‘the’, ‘a’ and ‘of’ and just choose the main ones, e.g [Artificial Intelligence]. We can always change our keywords or add more if we need to.

Britannica School

This online version of the Encyclopedia Britannica is a reliable website with great information about Artificial Intelligence.

  • Enter the keyword 'AI' into the search bar at the top of the page.
  • Go to the article called artificial intelligence (AI).
  • If you find the information too complex or too easy, adjust your article reading level.
  • Use the Related section to explore more.
Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.

AI in the future

Many children today are growing up interacting with Siri, Alexa, or Echo as examples of home smart assistants. There is currently testing being done on driver-less cars and banks can pick up on potential fraud based on your previous purchase history. The future of AI is still a relatively young topic, with many avenues yet to be explored.


A safe search option similar to Google where you can research ideas such as 'the future of AI'.

  • Try using the search term 'The Future of AI'.
  • You'll notice that the first results are ads, presented together in a grey box. The search results will be after this section.
  • The results are articles or videos sourced from many different websites but have been chosen using the Google safe search criteria.
  • Try looking at the 'Artificial Intelligence: The Future of Mankind?' article on the Youngzine website.


A website designed to give clear and concise answers to your questions, provided by a team of researchers, writers and editors.

  • Try using the search terms: 'AI', 'Artificial Intelligence' or 'The Future of AI'.
  • The first results will be paid adverts, often with a link to the website. Scroll past these and look at the rest of the results.
  • Look at the article called What are the Different Types of Artificial Intelligence Technology?.
  • At the end of your article there will be a list of Related wiseGEEK articles which you can browse, or return to your initial search results.
Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.


There are many books that have been written about this topic - check out your local public or school library to see what they have. Here are some recommended titles:

SCIS no: 1903581
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