What is Artificial Intelligence?

AI For Beginners

Imagine you’re walking down a busy street, and suddenly you see a car drive by itself. No driver, no steering wheel. That’s Artificial Intelligence at work. Or perhaps you’re using your smartphone to talk to a virtual assistant like Siri or Google Assistant. These assistants can understand your voice commands and perform tasks for you, thanks to AI.

Welcome to the world of Artificial Intelligence, where the boundaries between what’s human and what’s machine are becoming increasingly blurred. Today, we’re embarking on a journey to understand AI from the ground up. Shall we begin?

What is Artificial Intelligence?

AI is all the rage these days, from self-driving cars to robots doing your laundry, but what exactly is it?  Imagine a machine that can learn, solve problems, and even make decisions – that’s the basic idea behind AI. AI is the ability of machines to perform tasks that typically require human intelligence. These tasks include things like learning, reasoning, problem-solving, and understanding natural language.

The term was given in 1956 by John McCarthy, who is recognized as the father of Artificial Intelligence. He defines artificial intelligence as “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines.” The definition itself has evolved over the years. According to PWC, “AI is a collective term for computer systems that can sense their environment, think, learn, and take action in response to what they’re sensing and their objectives.”

In other words, AI is trying to build artificial systems that will work better on tasks that humans currently can do. It refers to the Turing Test, named after Alan Turing. He wanted to answer the question, “Can machines think?”. In his test, one person talks with another person and a machine simultaneously. If the first person cannot say which of the two conversations involves another human, then we are talking about AI.

Artificial Intelligence Applications

Artificial intelligence allows machines and computers to mimic the perception, learning, problem-solving, and decision-making abilities of the human mind.

These are just a few of the most common examples of AI you can notice every day:

  • Speech recognition
  • Natural language processing (NLP)
  • Image recognition (computer vision or machine vision)
  • Real-time recommendations
  • Virus and spam prevention
  • Ecological solutions
  • Automated stock trading
  • Ride-share services
  • Household robots
  • Improvements in healthcare
  • Autopilot technology

So, what are the benefits of AI?  Well, for starters, AI can automate repetitive tasks, freeing us up for more creative endeavors.  Think about chatbots handling customer service, or AI algorithms recommending that perfect song on your music streaming service.

Key Benefits of AI

Reduction in human error: People sometimes make mistakes. Machines, however, do not make these mistakes if they are correctly programmed. So faults are decreased, and the chance of reaching accuracy with a higher degree of precision is possible.

Faster decisions: We can make machines take decisions faster than humans and carry out actions quicker using AI alongside other technologies. While making a decision, humans will analyze many factors both emotionally and practically, but AI-powered machines work on what is programmed and deliver the results faster.

Easier daily life: Daily applications such as Apple’s Siri, Window’s Cortana, Google’s OK Google are frequently used in our daily routine, whether for searching a location, taking a selfie, making a phone call, or replying to a mail, among other routine tasks.

Automation: Automation has a large impact on the transportation, communications, consumer products, and service industries. Automation leads to higher production rates and boosted productivity in these sectors and allows more effective use of raw materials, improved product quality, or reduced lead times.

Improved customer experience: AI-powered solutions can help companies respond to client queries and grievances quickly and address situations efficiently. The use of chatbots based on AI with Natural Language Processing technology can generate highly personalized messages for customers who will not know if they’re talking to a human being or a machine.

Increased business efficiency: AI can help to ensure 24-hour service availability and deliver the same performance and consistency throughout the day. Moreover, AI can productively automate monotonous tasks, remove “boring” tasks for humans, reduce the stress on employees, and free them to take care of more critical and creative tasks that require manual intervention.

Research and data analysis: AI and Machine Learning can analyze data much more efficiently than a human. These technologies can help create predictive models and algorithms to process data and understand the possible outcomes of various trends and scenarios.

Accurately diagnosing diseases: AI, especially deep learning, can potentially reduce costs and improve diagnosing acute disease on radiographic imaging. This benefit is pronounced for cancer patients when early detection can be the difference between life and death.

Preserving enviromental resources: AI has the potential to benefit conservation and environmental efforts, from combatting the effects of climate change to developing recycling systems. AI, coupled with robotics, can modify the recycling industry, allowing for better sorting of recyclable materials. AI positively impacts climate change, including managing renewable energy for maximum efficiency, making agricultural practices more efficient and eco-friendly, and forecasting energy demand in large cities.

Improving education: AI can teach efficiently 24 hours a day, and it has the potential to provide one-on-one tutoring to all students. It can allow all students to get regular, personalized tutoring based on their needs. There’s also the potential to create highly personalized lesson plans for students and reduce teachers’ time focusing on administrative tasks. AI can also analyze massive amounts of data to identify patterns that humans might miss.  This can be used for things like scientific discovery, improving weather forecasting, or even personalized medicine.

But AI isn’t without its drawbacks.  There’s a concern that AI could take away jobs, and there are worries about bias in AI systems, which can reflect the biases present in the data they’re trained on.  Safety is another big question mark, especially with self-driving cars.

Let’s see some real-world examples!

That voice assistant you use on your phone? That’s AI!

Ever gotten a product recommendation online that just seems to know you? Yep, AI again.

How about those spam filters that keep your inbox clean? AI is working hard behind the scenes.

Recent Post