The Oxford Dictionary defines Artificial Intelligence (AI) as the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a branch of computer engineering, designed to create machines that behave like humans. Although AI has come so far in recent years, it is still missing essential pieces of human behavior such as emotional behavior, identifying objects and handling them smoothly like a human.

Artificial Intelligence - AI - Gaming systemThere are a number of areas where AI can be applied, including the following:

  • Expert systems, where computers can be programmed to make decisions in real-life situations. The integration of machines, software, and specific information allows the system to impart reasoning, explanation, and advice to the end user.
  • Natural Language, where chatbots can recognize natural human language if communicating directly with a user or a customer.
  • Neural Systems, simulate intelligence by attempting to reproduce the types of physical connections that occur in human brains. For example, neural systems can predict future events based on historical data.
  • Robotics, are programmed computers which see, hear and react to sensory stimuli, such as light, heat, temperature, sound and pressure.
  • Gaming Systems can manipulate strategic games, such as chess or poker, where the machine can think of an exponential number of possible positions to play effectively against a human opponent.

There are also different levels of AI. For example, some AI systems align more closely with human behavior. The closer a system relates to actual human behavior, the stronger the AI.

AI in Business

IBM Watson is an example of a strong AI system performing tasks in business today.

The design of this system was inspired by the structure of the human brain. Watson collects masses of data over time, similar to the human brain. People make decisions based on conclusions rather than following definitive rules. This AI system layers the data gathered, allowing it to make informed choices, by identifying patterns in the data and weighing up the possible options based on previous outcomes. This type of data collection and analysis can also be referred to as machine learning or deep learning.

This blog post is the first in a five-part series. The second installment will discuss the relationship between humans and computers in more detail. Click here to receive Part Two directly to your email inbox.