Is Artificial intelligence an oxymoron? One can not 'fake' great intelligence except if like a con-artist one say's all sorts of things that 'sound' intelligent without saying anything. An actor playing the role of a genius in a TV show has to sometimes say some things that upon further reflection of the audience not only sound clever but are clever ; if one is to believe the actor is brilliant. Any info. management system like an A.I. computer 'make' statements that are 'artificially' intelligent; they either really are 'intelligent' or they are not. So Artificial Intelligence sounds like a misnomer. It should be called something like 'Algorithmetic Generated Intelligence'. Any thoughts?
"Singularity" or "technological singularity" as it is known nowadays, is a hypothesis that claims, artificial intelligence will surpass human intelligence in the not-so-distant future. In light of your question, there are some interesting elements in this claim that are worth further analysis. Take a human being for instance and try analyzing his behavior from the moment of birth until the moment of his--I use a masculine human being for the sake of simplicity--ultimate demise. You will undoubtedly notice that his knowledge is gained through experience and interaction with others which in turn will provide him with his judgement and understanding of the world surrounding him. We are now replicating this biological process by integrating it in non-biological "artificial intelligence". Imagine a machine, running a program that would have the ability to modify itself through experience and interaction with others and the environment surrounding it, which in turn will give it the knowledge to judge and understand the world around it. Therefore I think, "artificial intelligence" is not an oxymoron and strictly in terms of the process, what "artificial intelligence" does, is not any different from what human beings do. In other words, our intelligence also uses an algorithm but through biological processes. Feelings, morality, pain and other human attributes are nothing but temporal and self-reflective objects--generated through this same algorithm--that inevitably fade away; therefore I think the real question is: Would "artificial intelligence" be able to overcome itself and accept the temporality of those objects and in so doing act against its machine attribute of perpetuating data?
The answer is no - artificial intelligence is not an oxymoron.
Artificial basically means "made or produced by people" and therefore artificial intelligence means an intelligence produced by people, which is a reasonable description.
"Artificiality (also called factitiousness, or the state of being artificial or man-made) is the state of being the product of intentional human manufacture, rather than occurring naturally, through processes not involving or requiring human activity." - Wikipedia
On the other hand "Algorithmetic Generated Intelligence" is not a good name for various reasons; for example, it is long, and its meaning is obscure (what is algorithmetic anyway?).
As a programmer who is currently working on Artificial Intelligence, I can say that part of the issue with your question is that we are not trying to make machines "intelligent" where the meaning of "intelligent" is to be smarter or have more processing power than something else.
The idea of this machine intelligence is that it is capable of thinking or learning on its own, and that it can replicate the processes that happen in the human brain. This is the concept of the Turing test - that it can replicate these processes accurately enough to be perceived by a human as thinking like a human, not as a highly intelligent human.
Artificial intelligence is right up there with "Military Intelligence" and "Forest Management." Intellect is the "whore" of intelligence. Sanity is defined as balance, and balance is mind, body, spirit and soul in homeostasis. The mind "tries" to analyze itself, yet such fruitless folly is only learned from experience, heart and common sense, not reductionist, intellect and science.