AI, or artificial intelligence, isn’t just for sci-fi books. Read on to learn what AI software is, what it isn’t and how it can help you.
AI, or artificial intelligence, is the most disruptive technology since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution.
When you think of AI, your mind might veer straight toward sci-fi reads or scary movies. The truth is, this negative hype isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. While narratives of AI bringing about a human doomsday linger, the reality is that AI improves and changes our lives.
AI is already rising all around us. It continues to change the way we interact with each other and the world at large. It changes and improves the way we do business, and that business itself.
In fact, studies predict that implementing AI software will increase labor productivity by up to 40% by 2035. This means AI will reinforce skilled labor in the future instead of undermining human labor.
But how does it do this and what exactly is AI in the first place?
A Brief History of AI
The Origin Stories of AI
Those ideas about robots and machines made in the image of a human that can think at the same level as their human counterparts go back further than you think. Ancient Greek mythologies like the golden robots of Hephaestus explore these ideas.
In the Middle Ages, stories of alchemy imagined placing the human brain inside of inanimate objects.
The stories of AI even extend into religious contexts. People worshiped statues believed to exemplify human emotion and thinking.
Alan Turing and Formal AI Research
Alan Turing published “Computing Machinery and Intelligence” in 1950. The paper shows Turing’s research into “The Imitation Game.” This was a test of whether or not a computer could tell the gender of two players.
Many consider “Computer Machinery and Intelligence” the pioneering work into AI. Following Turing’s work, formal research on AI began in 1956, following The Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence. This brainstorming and research session serves as the seminal event around AI research.
What Is AI? Machine Learning
Machine learning is a huge component of AI.
It gives AI software the core of its identity. Machine learning refers to a variety of algorithms and methods that allow software to improve its performance. It learns as it comes into contact with new information or data.
Many types of machine learning exist today. These include neural networks and deep learning.
Artificial Neural networks are a type of machine learning based on the way neurons work in the human brain.
Neural networks consist of nodes with weighted interconnections. These nodes exist in many layers.
One layer, the input layer, feeds data into the system. The hidden layers support learning functions. The output layer presents the answer. Neural networks learn by updating the weight of interconnections.
Deep learning is shorthand for a deep neural network. This type of neural network consists of an immense system of hidden layers.
The advent of more efficient processors and increased access to data supports the success of deep learning today.
What Is AI? Cognitive Computing
Like machine learning, cognitive computing acts as another subset of AI.
Cognitive computing replaces data and sensor streams with symbolic and conceptual information. The aim of cognitive computing is superior decision-making in complex situations.
Cognitive computing uses machine learning along with several other software subsets. Together, they form a controversial system inspired by human thought processes.
Put in simple terms, Artificial Intelligence is the area of computer science that seeks to recreate human cognition in computers.
Part of this goal is natural language processing. Natural language processing refers to a computer’s ability to understand and then communicate a response in natural languages, like English or Spanish.
The human species seeks to improve every aspect of their life. Now, technology is the ultiamte vehicle to achieve these improvements.
This kind of software will become more intelligent, faster, and more human-like as practices like quantum computing evolve at an alarming rate.
Yet, even so, AI already exists around us in the present day. You might interact with it on a daily basis. Do you know the AI software that influences society today?
AI Software Used Today
AI today improves our lives by adapting to our likes and dislikes. This type of software offers us services to make our lives easier and more efficient. Here are a few examples of AI at play in your life.
By now, you know Apple’s voice-activated personal assistant, Siri. Siri is a form of AI that helps us locate information on the web, find directions, and manage our personal and professional calendar. It even helps us to communicate with one another via text message.
Siri uses machine learning to gain knowledge to better predict and understand natural-language questions and requests. In other words, Siri learns how to communicate with us and deliver results based on our own behaviors.
Tesla continues to revolutionize the automobile industry. This AI technology makes drivers’ lives easier through self-driving and predictive features.
When we think of AI software, we might not always think of Netflix right away. However, the company offers up an accurate and adaptive technology that learns from its consumers. Netflix combs through troves of film records.
Then, it suggests the films a user would enjoy watching based on previous reactions. As the data available expands, Netflix becomes more intelligent.
Other instances of AI in use today include Pandora, Nest, Amazon, Cogito and Google’s Alexa.
As you can see AI packs a big punch in our daily lives. As AI software blossoms, it will also affect our work lives.
How AI Software Improves Business
AI software combines low-cost cloud services with enormous amounts of inexpensive storage. This offers new and improved algorithms that will change the way we do business and interact with consumers.
The more information this software receives, the more intelligent it becomes. The sheer amount of open-source information available via social media allows for incredible in-depth instances of machine learning.
Instead of displacing people, on the whole, intelligent software allows people to use their time in a more efficient way at work. This leads to increased productivity of labor in the workforce.
AI will not replace human capital. Instead, it allows for humans to create and innovate at an accelerated speed.
Significant investments in AI will rise. Small startups and large corporations alike will contribute and benefit from the advent of AI. For example, Google acquired Deepmind for $400 million. IBM introduced Watson, and Facebook purchased Wit.ai.
AI startup equity in the United States reached an all-time high of $1 billion in 2016.
Experts predict AI software will increase the annual economic growth of the United States from 2.6% to 4.6% by 2035. That’s $8.3 trillion in added value.
According to the same report, AI software stands to increase the UK economy by $814 billion by 2035. Japan could see their GVA triple in this timeframe.
The key to leveraging the success to AI is proper preparation. Governments and businesses of all sizes and in all industries need to prepare and educate their employees about AI software.
How To Achieve Success With AI
Education and training need to change to adapt to AI as new types of knowledge and skills prove needed. AI requires skills and trained workers that do not exist today. Training will help those affected by an AI revolution achieve employment success.
AI ethics debates take place even today as AI exists in its infancy. An AI code of ethics is crucial in the development and implementation of AI.
The gap between innovation and response must close. Governments need to think and act in new adaptive ways. This requires more tech-savvy employees playing active roles in every government.
Businesses need to restructure their workflows to take advantage of both human and machine strengths. Not doing so will result in one replacing the other and could lead to failed business.
There’s No Stopping AI Software
Equity in AI software companies hit $2.4 billion in 2015, a 746% increase from 2011.
If there’s one thing to know about artificial intelligence, its that it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Large tech titans like Facebook and Google, as well as universities, continue to devote huge sums of money to AI research and development.
Of course, the topic of AI brings about contention. Stephen Hawking said AI “could spell the end of the human race”.
While Mark Zuckerberg praises AI, Bill Gates warned against the irresponsible use of AI in 2015.
A unified opinion of AI may not come soon, but AI is here to stay. Through the responsible use of AI software, humans and businesses enjoy increased productivity and increased time allotted to create and innovate in their respective industries.
If you’re looking to research and compare different software solutions, feel free to contact us for assistance.
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