Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing the way we use technology

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing the way we consume technology

What is Artificial Intelligence? by iarani

Artificial Intelligence is an invisible layer of technology that is touching your life every day, making it more productive. Technically, it is a different way of approaching computer programming. Instead of relying on one input like traditional programming, AI looks at history of similar inputs before giving several outputs with confidence scores. Higher the confidence, more likely is the correct output.

Let’s try to understand it by this example – you ask your phone for movie suggestions. 

InputRegular OutputArtificial Intelligence Output
“Show me movies”List of movies sorted alphabetically –
1. Avatar
2. Back to future
3. Captain America
List of movies sorted by your interest
1. The Shashank Redemption (confidence – 98%)
2. The Godfather (confidence – 97.8%)
3. Pulp Fiction (confidence – 97%)

AI mimics the problem-solving and decision-making process of the human mind.

If you repeat this experiment with a friend and ask for movie suggestions, she will not open the movie encyclopaedia and list movies alphabetically. She will give you suggestions based on the movies she knows about and your taste. AI works the same way. You need to feed an AI system movies, it’s ratings and reviews so that when you ask for a suggestion, it will go over your preferences and match it with its data to give you suggestions with confidence level.

There’s a downside too. Suggestions the AI system gives is based on the movies and the reviews you have fed. So, it has the same biases as the reviews it reads. This is an important factor in successes of AI systems and is one of the biggest challenges the industry needs to address.

AI systems work on three main cognitive functions: 

  1. Learning – Ingesting large amounts of labelled training data
  2. Reasoning – Analysing the data for correlations and patterns, and 
  3. Self-correction – Using these patterns to make predictions about future states

These functions help AI systems to continuously improve. However, AI is still far from the romanticised view portrayed in movies and books. The technology is still far away from creating self-aware system (Skynet) to take over the world and we are still far away from creating a humanoid robot capable of emotions (Terminator).

Since its inception in 1956, AI has made its way into a variety of markets – healthcare, education, industrial automation, finance, transportation. Here are some successful use-cases of AI currently in production –

  • Healthcare Online virtual health assistants to help patients find medical information, schedule appointments, understand the billing process and complete other administrative processes. 
  • Education Automated grading of tests or in the form of AI tutors.
  • Finance In the banking sector AI is used to improve the decision-making for loans and to set credit limits.
  • Online Security AI can predict new and emerging attacks sooner than human employees by analysing data to identify similarities to known malicious code.
  • Transportation Self-driving vehicles are powered by sensors and AI. Artificial Intelligence is what enables these vehicle to assess its surroundings and react in unpredictable situations.

Artificial Intelligence is impacting the future of nearly every industry and every human being. It has acted as the main driver of emerging technologies like big data, robotics and IoT, Web 3.0 and will continue to act as a technological innovator for the foreseeable future.

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