What is Artificial Intelligence?

When one says the word “artificial intelligence”, some of the things that  come to mind are along the lines of the movies Terminator, iRobot, star trek, Ex Machina, among others. Basically super intelligent robots waiting to take over humanity. And that would be right, as that is indeed a big aspect of A.I, which is recently very important in the health, finance, education, technology and space industries.

“AI or artificial intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computers” http://searchcio.techtarget.com/definition/AI. In simple terms, machines being trained to do what humans do.

But you’d be surprised to know that Artificial intelligence is closer to you than you’d possibly imagine. Below are some examples of applications of A.I in our day to day lives:

  • Virtual assistants- Apple’s Siri, Google’s Cortana, etc.
  • Online customer support
  • Purchase predictions and targeted (customized suggestions)
  • Fraud detection
  • Smart cars
  • Video games(computer chess, computer poker players, etc.)
  • Music and movie recommendations based on previous searches
  • Smart home devices, among others.

The Battle of Terms

A battle of terms still does exist as to what should be called AI and what shouldn’t. According to some scientists that have been researching in the field for a long time now, what some self-accredited experts call AI, is a far cry from what seasoned scientists term for the same.  And the latter fear for another AI winter.

But be it complex robots or basic device functions, when all’s said and done, these are all mostly run in the background by algorithms that are integrated with complex neural networks that are part and parcel of different schools of AI.

Although AI does comprise of complex systems that are programmed to do what humans do, for now, when you next think about AI, look no further than the virtual assistants on your phone, the smart car parked down the street, the video games, the often-reliable Siri and your prompt virtual customer support adviser.