August 9, 2022
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5
minute read

Artificial Intelligence: Everything You Need To Know Explained Simply

We have seen it in sci-fi movies, it has been around since World War II and it is surrounded by mystery of the unknown for many. But what is AI exactly? What does it do and why is it so important for the progress of technology? Let us shed light on this amazing concept.

What Is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is basically the replication of human intelligence within machines. It comes from the idea of teaching machines how to think and act like humans which saves humans a lot of time and operating efforts. The process in it's simplest form consists of three stages.

Learning: For the first stage of artificial intelligence programming you need to teach the machine how to process data (by coding its algorithm) and provide it with the data to process.

Reasoning: The machine learns to reason by identifying patterns in the data within its algorithm's frame and starts the replicate this reasoning identified in the patterns. Therefore, the more data you feed the AI the more fine tuned its reasoning gets.

Self-correction: By fine tuning its reasoning with the increase of data it is fed. Self-correction is the process of AI continually improving its reasoning to reach most human like outcome.

A fun genre of AI has been around for quite some time in the form of chat bots. They learn through algorithm how to process and respond to certain inputs and are then fed a bunch of human conversations and/or writings to replicate and learn from them. A quirky thing that happens sometimes is when a chat bot is fed data from an informational source they end up knowing the answers to the most random question. You might be talking to a Shakespeare bot that knows the answer to how deep the Mariana Trench is.

What Are The Types of AI?

Of course not all AI is created equally. Classifying AI based on how human like it is, there are four main types of AI. With this classification their intelligence gets more complex by the level. The first two types of AI are fairly common and are what we think of when we say AI. The following two however exist as concepts that are works in progress as of today.

1. Reactive Machine

Oldest of the four types of artificial intelligence, reactive machines got us to where we are with AI. These machines are only capable of reacting automatically to a small number of different inputs or combinations. They don't have memory therefore they aren't capable of learning from past occurrences. They work on a "if this happens then do this" basis.

2. Limited Memory

Limited memory machines are like reactive machines but in addition to reactive abilities, they can also learn from historical data to make decisions. Like all modern AI systems, they are taught using huge amounts of data that are stored in their memory to provide a framework for processing. Today's AI applications almost all use limited memory AI, including chatbots, virtual assistants, and self-driving cars.

3. Theory of Mind

As the next step down the line that is worked on by many innovators, theory of mind is the concept of a machine that is able to understand humans on an almost empathetical level. It requires artificial emotional intelligence to be improved. At this level, a machine will be able to see humans as individuals that are affected by multiple variables and therefore their processing patterns vary.

4. Self-Awareness

The perceived last stage of AI that exists as only a concept we get to see in sci-fi is; a machine developing such human like rationale that it becomes aware of itself. In addition to being able to recognize and provoke emotions in those with whom it interacts, this kind of AI will also have emotions, needs, beliefs, and perhaps even desires of its own.

The tricky part about this kind of AI is that we don't really grasp what comes with self-awareness. If self-awareness brings about self-preservation this might easily bid these machines against humanity and with their far superior intelligence it won't take too long to out maneuver us. Thankfully, the days we have to worry about self-aware machines are still quite far in the future so for now we can only theorize and make movies about them.

Why Is AI So Important?

Artificial intelligence is a very important piece of technology because it allows us to merge machines' far superior processing capacity with human reasoning. This allows us to save a lot of time and effort on tasks that can be done by AI much more effectively, efficiently and at low cost. AI allows us to automate a lot of processes that are very susceptible to human error.

Autonomous vehicles, automated medical diagnosis, voice input for human-computer interactions, intelligent agents, automated data synthesis, and improved decision-making are just a few of the significant new products, services, and talents made possible by AI. Basically, AI improves key business processes by increasing the speed and accuracy of operations, enabling firms to operate efficiently at lower costs.

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