What is AI?

While artificial intelligence (AI) technologies make (to varying degrees) use of data, algorithms and computing power, so do many other types of information systems. Furthermore, while all AI systems rely on sophisticated algorithms, some require large amounts of data, others large amounts of computation, and yet others both.

What distinguishes AI approaches from other kinds of computation is that they exhibit key aspects of behaviour considered as intelligent in humans, and thus enable fundamentally new levels of automation and delegation. 


AI thus encompasses algorithms and systems that can replicate, support or surpass human perceptual, linguistic and reasoning processes; learn, draw conclusions and make predictions based on large or small quantities of data; replicate or enhance human perception; support humans in diagnosis, planning, scheduling, resource allocation and decision making; and cooperate physically and intellectually with humans and other AI systems.

Research and Application Areas

Within CLAIRE, we categorise AI into 12 Research Areas and 12 Application Areas:

Areas of AI Research:

Machine Learning

Automated Reasoning

Search and Optimisation

Planning and Scheduling

Multi-Agent Systems

Knowledge Representation 

Natural Language Processing

Computer Vision


AI Hardware & High-Performance Computing

Human-Machine Interaction

Ethical, Legal, Social Issues

AI Application Areas:

Efficient and safe transportation

Advanced healthcare

Smart industry (production, services, logistics, …)

Effective and sustainable agriculture

Next-generation learning and education

Energy (production, storage, distribution, management, …)

Environment (protection, monitoring, management, …)

Accelerated scientific research

Financial markets and services (incl. fintech)

Public sector and citizen services (incl. govtech)

Media and entertainment

Safety and security

Human-centred AI

Human-centred artificial intelligence is AI that augments, rather than replaces, human intelligence. Human-centred AI systems aim to help human experts and users to overcome their limitations and biases, to provide them with new abilities to perceive and understand complex phenomena, to individually and collectively solve problems, and to enhance their creativity and experience.

AI4Good and AI4All

Within CLAIRE, we have a focus on AI for Good and AI for All, defined as follows:


AI for Good:  AI that benefits society, in particular, by helping realise                                 the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals



AI for All:  AI that benefits all of society rather than merely                                              a limited set of stakeholders

See also our brAInfoods series for broadly accessible explanations of different aspects of AI.

CLAIRE has an ambitious vision on building and supporting excellence in AI.