It’s been around since the 1950s, but artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t just some science fiction concept anymore. Thanks to the increased computing power that accompanies every new generation of mobile devices, there are now AI assistants that you can talk to like a person and even applications that can edit your photographs in seconds using AI technology. So what exactly is AI? Where did it come from, and how does it work? We’ll show you in this guide on how artificial intelligence works and how it’s transforming the way we live and work today.
What is artificial intelligence (AI)?
It is true that a computer can beat a human in chess, but what about intelligence? The answer is artificial intelligence. The definition of AI as the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence.
With AI, computers can do just about anything we do with our own minds. From recognizing faces to driving cars, artificial intelligence is being used more and more in our everyday lives.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is playing a major role in how companies, and even entire industries are developing. From machine learning being used for financial services and healthcare, AI is influencing everything from e-commerce and digital advertising to smart cities and home automation.
All of these applications are built on machine learning, deep learning, neural networks and natural language processing.
What is machine learning?
Machine learning, a subset of AI, can be defined as the ability for a computer to learn without being explicitly programmed. Machine learning helps computers collect data on their own, allowing them to identify trends and patterns that human beings could never notice.
This kind of technology has become more prevalent in recent years, with many major tech companies such as Google developing their own form of machine learning tools.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to computers that are programmed to carry out tasks usually requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.
AI is used in a variety of applications today, from autonomous vehicles to medical imaging. In its purest form, AI requires machines that can not only collect data but also interpret it.
How does machine learning work?
Machine learning algorithms are designed to sift through large amounts of data to find meaningful patterns. Algorithms such as deep neural networks, for example, look for sequences of inputs that correlate with outputs.
If an algorithm finds a useful pattern in data, it’s said to have learned something about that subject — and can therefore apply what it has learned when presented with new data.
In a business context, machine learning can be applied to find insights in data, automate tasks or make predictions. For example, a retail clothing store might use machine learning to analyze historic weather data for each day of their sales period so that it can predict how many scarves or hats to stock.
That would enable them to avoid overstocking during mild days — or run out of stock during cold snaps. Using machine learning in that manner could allow retailers to optimize their performance over time.
AI can help us make better decisions!
It’s no secret that algorithms are already impacting our lives. But they’re still largely working on tasks that require little or no judgment, like finding photos of cats on Google Images or pulling up your Amazon shopping history when you search for headphones. If a computer can do these things for us, shouldn’t it also be able to help us make better decisions?
But that’s exactly what a company called Vectra is trying to do. Founded in 2014, Vectra develops a human-in-the-loop solution that enhances machine learning with human intuition.
Their system can be used in applications ranging from fraud detection to cyber security to business analytics, but ultimately it works by taking decisions out of computers’ hands — and putting them into ours.
At its core, machine learning allows computers to learn from data without being explicitly programmed. With hundreds of millions of images on Pinterest alone, it’s safe to say that machines have learned a lot about what a cat looks like, for example.
But machine learning can also be used to answer questions — and not just simple ones with yes or no answers, but questions where there are multiple factors that might contribute to an outcome. Say you’re considering buying one pair of shoes online versus another.
A computer can process a lot of data about both pairs, like how much each one costs, where you saw them advertised, what colors they are, who else has purchased them online. But to learn that you might prefer one pair over another requires it to recognize things like colors or patterns that contribute to your decision. The ability for computers to make decisions in these situations is called machine learning.
Vectra’s solution inverts machine learning, putting humans in control. The human has access to all of that same data but also adds their own judgment — if they think it’s going to rain on their walk home from work, for example, they can add that into what could sway their decision. That insight is fed back into a second model which combines both machine learning and human intuition.
The second model then predicts which shoe you might be more likely to purchase. If you ask 100 people if they’re going to buy a pair of shoes online, may be 80% say no, but when we ask them why, it’s because their size isn’t available or they can get it cheaper at a local store.
The end result isn’t a shoe purchase but rather a higher probability that you’ll buy shoes online — and in turn, more sales for retailers. In Vectra’s example, their client saw an increase of 4% in online shoe sales when they deployed their solution.
AI can make businesses more efficient!
Artificial intelligence (AI) is starting to play a bigger role in business. At its simplest, AI can help companies make better decisions faster. It can also help them automate certain functions, which means they have more time to focus on critical tasks.
Whether you’re just getting started with AI or are looking for ways to expand its use at your organization, there are plenty of strategies for incorporating it into your daily operations.
Just be sure to keep one thing in mind: AIs are only as good as their data, so it’s important to ensure that your AI is getting high-quality information. Even if you’re already using AI for certain tasks, it never hurts to make sure that your company’s AI knows exactly what you want.
If you’re planning to use AI at your company, one of your first steps should be learning how others are using it. Look for companies that have already implemented AI or speak with consultants who can help you get started.
Depending on your business, there are likely AI-based solutions available to help you automate certain tasks. Or if you want to take a more customized approach, consider developing an internal solution tailored to your unique needs.
Get creative! The goal here isn’t to find existing solutions. Instead, you want to gather enough information that you can decide how AI fits into your business strategy. Then, start developing a plan for implementation based on how you use AI in other parts of your business.
And; don’t forget to have conversations with all relevant stakeholders before moving forward with any changes — you’ll need their buy-in if you hope to bring AI in house successfully.
AI in healthcare:
Artificial intelligence isn’t just for geeks anymore — it’s come a long way since those early days of Deep Blue. Now, it’s poised to transform healthcare by enabling scientists to better understand disease mechanisms, more quickly discover new cures, accelerate clinical trials and deliver effective treatments faster. It’s also set to improve how doctors interact with patients — enabling them to offer superior levels of care. AI in healthcare will change everything.
Physicians will be able to ask specific questions about their patients’ health. For example, if a patient has schizophrenia, AI-enabled diagnostic software might detect that he or she has a high risk of lung cancer due to smoking.
By learning from vast amounts of data about outcomes for similar patients, it can spot trends and suggest treatment plans accordingly. And as technology improves, these systems will become increasingly sophisticated in their decision-making capabilities.
AI will also help empower patients. Rather than being forced to visit their doctor every time they want an update on how they’re doing, people with chronic conditions will be able to monitor their own health at home — and receive support from an AI system as needed.
This advancement in healthcare means that people with a range of ailments won’t have to suffer as much. So what does all of this mean for you?
Whether you’re a patient, a doctor or a health insurance provider, AI will likely impact your life in one way or another. The technology will enable physicians to better assist their patients while reducing risks associated with making mistakes due to fatigue, burnout or simple human error. For patients, there’s less need to visit their doctor repeatedly for an update on how they’re doing.
And while these advances in healthcare technology sound fantastic, don’t worry. AI won’t put anyone out of a job. In fact, it will make jobs — including some of your own — more enjoyable and rewarding than ever before.
What will happen to jobs?
It’s already begun!
Self-driving vehicles may soon replace taxi, Uber, truck and other drivers, potentially putting millions of people out of work. Software algorithms are being used to predict which criminals are likely to reoffend, making parole officers and judges obsolete.
Artificial intelligence programs can generate headlines so convincing that some readers have been fooled into thinking they were written by humans. There’s little doubt these new technologies will profoundly affect how we earn a living in coming years – whether for better or worse.
As a society, there are two broad ways we could respond. We could ignore these trends and hope they don’t affect us or our children. Or we could improve education and job-training programs to help displaced workers find new careers.
This approach would not only lessen some of the pain caused by automation, it would also spur innovation in fields such as healthcare, education, construction and engineering — jobs of tomorrow that will need all sorts of workers to fill them.
If history is any guide, humans have always found new jobs after old ones are rendered obsolete. For example, in 1900, 41% of Americans worked on farms. Today it’s about 2 percent. We may not like all of our new jobs – few of us would want to return to picking cotton or plowing fields – but we will find them nonetheless.
Ultimately, automation should make us better off. By performing routine tasks, technology leaves us with more time to enjoy life and one another’s company. And by speeding up production, it frees us from much of the drudgery that once consumed our days.
Even as machines take on more work, they’re making it possible for humans to accomplish more than ever before. As long as we continue to progress, no job will be safe forever – but that’s a problem worth solving.
One thing’s for sure: Technology won’t stop advancing. We are on an irreversible path toward a more automated future, so it’s crucial that we proceed with care. Our lives, after all, depend on it!
The future of cities:
Cities are getting smarter. They’re implementing new technology in transportation, safety, utilities and more. Artificial intelligence will play a major role in how cities evolve over time. It’s already helping us get around faster, find our friends faster and to even understand what’s happening in our cities like never before.
While there’s still a lot to figure out, with AI being used in a wide variety of ways by cities around the world, it’s clear that its capabilities will continue to grow.
It’s already one of today’s hottest technology trends, with more industries adopting AI to save time and make their operations run more smoothly. There are plenty of uses for AI that cities can take advantage of — here are just a few examples
The potential of AI in cities goes far beyond improving traffic.
There’s plenty of AI innovation happening in cities. We have just touched on a few of them, but there are many more ways that technology is being used to improve how cities function on a daily basis.
AI has a huge role to play in cities, but it’s still very much a new technology. There are plenty of ways that it can change how cities function today, and even more ways that it will continue to change them tomorrow. AI will touch every aspect of our lives, including our time spent in cities — so there’s no better time than now to learn about what’s coming next.
Can you trust AI?
The fact that AI can’t think in a way that humans do, but isn’t far from being able to, raises big questions about where to draw lines for ethical behavior. On one hand, we don’t want artificially intelligent systems making decisions without human oversight; on the other hand, if humans are required to make all critical decisions then those systems will be little more than fancy calculators.
For example, two researchers developed an AI system that could determine with an accuracy of more than 50 percent whether a photograph contained a firearm. The machine-learning algorithm behind it was able to distinguish real guns from toy guns by picking up on details such as sight type, handle grip and flash suppressor.
In another scenario, an AI system was developed to analyze information about cancer patients in a hospital database. The result was a machine that could predict with an accuracy of 85 percent whether those patients would die within 30 days after being admitted.
It was even able to predict which of those patients had conditions that wouldn’t kill them within 30 days, but would do so at some later point. Those results might sound impressive, but they come with their own ethical concerns.
For example, if you’re admitted to a hospital with an illness that won’t kill you within 30 days, would you want your doctors to know? If a machine predicted with 85 percent accuracy that you had only 30 days left to live, would you want your family told or given time to say goodbye?
Those questions may be worth discussing. They could help determine where AI should remain in its current state of development and where it needs further input from humans.
As AI continues to develop, it’s likely that ethical questions like these will only become more difficult. The technology will be able to do more than make predictions — it may actually be able to determine whether or not a person should receive treatment for a disease based on their genetic data. It may even be capable of controlling medical devices, such as mechanical ventilators or pacemakers.
At that point, it’s likely that machines will have to make a decision: Should they be programmed to follow human orders in spite of what could be better for their owners? Can you trust AI not to act in its own best interests at that point? And if you can’t, how do you protect your rights from being violated by an otherwise intelligent machine?
The answers to those questions may not be clear at first, but they’ll become more important as AI becomes more sophisticated. They’ll determine how humans interact with machines for years to come. And if we don’t give them some thought now, it will be a long time before we have a chance to do so.
The good news is that you can, and there are two things you can do to help determine if you should. The first is to learn more about AI. Read books on it, watch documentaries on it and spend time online learning what people are saying about it.
The more information you have about it, especially compared with other emerging technologies, such as virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR), the better chance you’ll have of keeping up with developments in AI.
Artificial intelligence has been making tremendous progress in recent years, powering everything from voice assistants like Siri to autonomous cars that can drive on busy roads. It’s still not at human levels of performance, but experts say it will be only a matter of time until AI systems advance far enough to match and surpass us. Some people are skeptical about whether machines can ever attain consciousness; others aren’t worried at all because they believe our creations will always remain loyal.
Whether you’re a true believer or have serious concerns about AI, it’s important to learn more about how it works. In its early stages, computers were programmed with instructions that told them exactly what to do, but they could perform only specific tasks. Now they can find patterns in data and even adjust their responses as new information becomes available. Machine learning allows AI systems to analyze past events and learn from them — and apply those lessons to future situations — so they get better at performing particular tasks.