How does Artificial Intelligence work?
Artificial Intelligence was once a motion that was confined to sci-fi novels, movies, and research papers. It is now making a huge impact on society.
According to John McCarthy, the father of AI, it is “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs.”
If we had to state it in the simplest way possible, artificial intelligence is the ability of a machine or a computer program to think and learn.
Goals of Artificial Intelligence
Majorly, we see two main goals to artificial intelligence and machine learning. They are (1) to create expert systems and (2) to mimick human intelligence.
Expert systems are just systems that exhibit intelligent behavior, learn, demonstrate, explain, and advice its users.
Today, there are so many different applications of artificial intelligence in both the consumer and business markets. Such as the use of natural language processing (NLP) to interpret human speech and respond accordingly. DeepMind, on the other hand, uses deep learning and is capable of making connections and reaching meanings without relying purely on input-output mapping (or behavioural analysis). Interestingly, using DeepMind, Google was able to improve the efficiency of its power centres by 40%.
To fully understand and appreciate AI, we must realize that it is only an umbrella term under which there are a number of different technologies. These are: machine learning, deep learning, computer vision, natural language generation, artificial general intelligence, natural language processing, knowledge reasoning and a few others.
The current state of artificial intelligence
Even though we see a lot of applications and use-cases for artificial intelligence, we still consider most of the implementations as ‘weak AI’ as we believe we have not realized their full and true potential.
Weak or narrow AI is ideally a non-sentient artificial intelligence that specializes on a single task. Current applications of artificial intelligence that are available need to be ‘programmed’ or ‘taught’ to the AI.
Despite AI solutions today not being ‘true’ artificial intelligence, the benefits and capabilities they provide are extraordinary – and they make a lot of sense for various industries and many day-to-day processes in them.
Some real-world artificial intelligence applications
AI is capable of automating various processes within business intelligence and analytics, thereby providing a holistic end-to-end solution. Computer vision is being used to map and navigate terrains. Here are some examples of how AI is being used to improve efficiency:
1. Fraud detection in Banking and Finance
Major banks have begun using artificial intelligence to detect fraudulent activity. AI software is given huge amounts of data that contains fraudulent as well as non-fraudulent transactions and it is ‘trained’ to detect fraudulent transactions. With enough data, and training, this AI becomes incredibly adept at recognizing fraud very early – allowing companies to be able to mitigate their risk so much easier.
2. Customer support in Retail
You will see a lot of websites now offering some type of conversational agent on their platform. A ‘chat’ tool which will try to answer your query till an extent, and if it is unable to, it will forward your support request to a human agent. In most instances, there is a form of AI that begins these conversations. Chat-bots are capable of understanding natural language, and help customers find answers to questions very easily.
3. Cybersecurity across various Industries
Cyber-attacks are increasing in frequency and more sophisticated tools are used to breach organizational defences. Human operators are no longer enough. Top firms across the world are investing heavily in cybersecurity to ensure that their data is protected. Real-time threat intelligence, and ideally, prevention, are what’re needed for businesses – and AI can easily deliver that. Using learning algorithms and feeding those algorithms great quantities of data for different types of attacks, it becomes possible to teach the AI solution to monitor behaviour, detect anomalous patterns, adapt and respond to threats and issue alerts. AI has quickly become a key component in a business’ cybersecurity infrastructure, providing a multi-layered security strategy that is robust and sophisticated.
4. Intelligent Agents in Games
AI plays a very huge role in strategic games such as for example, chess, poker, midtown madness, grand theft auto etc., where machines help in thinking of a large number of possible positions based on heuristic knowledge.
Artificial Intelligence vs. Machine Learning
People talk about artificial intelligence and machine learning hand in hand. So it’s possible that you may have misunderstood what machine learning is and what it does. Some people may also wonder if machine learning is the same as AI.
Let’s get rid of some misconceptions. AI and ML are very separate concepts. Artificial intelligence is at a higher-level (i.e. broader concept) than machine learning. Advanced machines use large amounts of data to “learn” input-output mapping. There are different techniques for this. Then they use what they’ve learned to recognize more of the unknown.
How will Artificial Intelligence affect humans?
Experts predict that AI will out-perform humans for relatively simple tasks. However, more complicated tasks will take machines more time to learn. AI also has the intrinsic potential for bias. AI is on the rise across various industries and 2018 saw a 27% rise in AI adoption across the board.