Artificial intelligence (AI) is the intelligence of machines and the branch of computer science that aims to create it. AI textbooks define the field as "the study and design of intelligent agents" where an intelligent agent is a system that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chances of success. John McCarthy, who coined the term in 1956, defines it as "the science and engineering of making intelligent machines."
AI research is highly technical and specialized, deeply divided into subfields that often fail to communicate with each other. Some of the division is due to social and cultural factors: subfields have grown up around particular institutions and the work of individual researchers. AI research is also divided by several technical issues. There are subfields which are focussed on the solution of specific problems, on one of several possible approaches, on the use of widely differing tools and towards the accomplishment of particular applications. The central problems of AI include such traits as reasoning, knowledge, planning, learning, communication, perception and the ability to move and manipulate objects. General intelligence (or "strong AI") is still among the field's long term goals. Currently popular approaches include statistical methods, computational intelligence and traditional symbolic AI. There are enormous number of tools used in AI, including versions of search and mathematical optimization, logic, methods based on probability and economics, and many others.