Since the invention of the computer, the capability of artificial intelligence to perform various tasks has increased exponentially. Artificial intelligence is a branch of computer science designed to create intelligent machines that behave like humans. Thus, the development of AI began with the intention of instilling in machines a level of intelligence akin to that found in humans. Although AI has made significant strides in recent years, it still lacks essential human behaviors, such as emotional responses, identification, and smooth manipulation of objects.
Here are some basic artificial intelligence facts that should give a better insight into this technology.
Basic Facts about Artificial Intelligence
What is artificial intelligence?
The best definition of artificial intelligence is – it is a sub-field of computer science that makes machines imitate human intelligence, i.e., to perform tasks normally requiring intelligence such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, translation between languages, and more.
The concept of AI is based on the idea of creating intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs, capable of interacting with their environment and acting upon the available data in an intelligent manner, like human beings. In short, the Artificial intelligence of a machine should be able to imitate human thought processes and intelligent human behavior.
How does Artificial Intelligence work?
Artificial Intelligence simulates human intelligence through the power of computers using the Machine Learning (ML) process, i.e., the computer has to learn how to perform certain tasks normally requiring human intelligence.
Basically, artificial intelligence works based on predictive algorithms, i.e., an algorithm that predicts an outcome based on large amounts of historical data to which they are exposed. In the initial or learning phase, the algorithm maps a relationship between the input-output pairs of historical data passed on to it. The knowledge acquired from the relationship between the input-output pairs of this large volume of data passed on to it is then applied to future decision-making and predictions. Thus, the process sidesteps the need to be programmed specifically for every possible action.
Relation between AI and Machine learning
There are two ways that computers can acquire artificial intelligence – Machine learning and Deep learning.
Machine learning – Machine learning is the science of getting computers to learn how to think and act like humans without being explicitly programmed. It utilizes algorithms to analyze a large amount of data for decision-making and predictions;
Deep learning – Deep Learning is an artificial intelligence function that imitates the workings of the human brain’s neural networks to make sense of patterns for decision-making. Instead of organizing data to run through predefined equations, deep learning sets up basic parameters about the data and trains the computer to learn independently by recognizing the patterns using many processing layers. As computers and algorithms begin to process more data over a longer period, they continue to learn and adjust the algorithms similar to human learning.
AI vs. ML- the difference between Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Applications of Artificial Intelligence
The discussions on the basic facts about AI as an introduction to artificial intelligence would remain incomplete without giving examples of artificial intelligence applications.
In recent times, artificial intelligence is the most ground-breaking technology, which is slowly but surely overtaking most basic operations in various industries. We have started learning how to communicate with machines and successfully directed machines to perform certain tasks using their intelligence. A few recent examples of artificial intelligence applications are self-driving cars, robotics, and image processing. Today, businesses leverage artificial intelligence to optimize processes and reap higher revenues and profits.
I have listed here five major areas of application of artificial intelligence where AI technology plays a significant role.
- Banking& financial analyses
The banking and finance industry heavily relies on artificial intelligence applications in areas like customer service, fraud protection, investment, and more.
Many major banks worldwide have implemented this emerging technology to prevent fraud and monitor potential customer threats. A simple example is the automated emails we receive from banks whenever we do an out-of-the-way transaction. Thus, AI always vigil on our account to prevent any possible fraud. AI is poised to play an even bigger role in the industry as major banks worldwide are currently investing millions of dollars in artificial intelligence applications.
Many big players in the finance industry also use AI to analyze data, including share price predictions, electronic trading, loan risk assessments, real estate valuations, etc., to find the best avenues to invest money so they can get the most returns with minimum risk.
2. Human Resource Management
Artificial intelligence has recently gained wide popularity in human resources (HR) management. AI has the potential to radically change the workplace and HR management. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) frees Human Managers from more value-added tasks.
For the HR function, AI is most commonly used for talent acquisition. Traditional recruitment processes often lead to hiring candidates who are not a perfect match for an organization. The application of artificial intelligence in HR helps to recruit the best candidates and suggests the type of candidate that would fit well in a particular position according to skills and education. HR can also use AI for succession planning for higher-level positions. RPA is best suited for repetitive processes where rules are clearly defined, like hiring, onboarding, payroll, exit management, etc.
The agricultural sector, which is one of the most important core sectors, is undergoing a technological revolution. The farmers are now applying the latest technology in their operations to gain its benefit to the fullest. There are enormous opportunities for applications of artificial intelligence or machine learning in agriculture. This sector largely depends on AI technology to perform various operations, from seeding and planting to harvesting crops. With the help of artificial intelligence, farmers can now not only predict the most efficient harvest times, soil nutrients analysis, crop disease detection, etc., but also can look ahead and make trading price predictions.
According to one report, the healthcare Artificial Intelligence market is set to experience a compound annual growth rate of 40 percent through 2022, largely because AI can potentially improve healthcare outcomes by 30 to 40 percent while simultaneously cutting treatment costs to half. Artificial intelligence applications in healthcare seem poised to transform the way we collect, understand, and use data on patient health and historical health data. It would revolutionize medical diagnoses like detecting heart and lung ailments and treatment of cancer.
While AI may not be able to replace doctors and nurses, it can make them more effective and efficient on the job as it takes the cognitive burden off our health providers.
Here are five examples of artificial intelligence in healthcare that appear to have the most potential.
- Assisted robotic surgery;
- Aid clinical judgment or diagnosis;
- Image analysis;
- Virtual nursing assistants;
5. Transport system
Applications of Artificial Intelligence in transportation systems will also play a huge role. The transport sector faces the challenge of transporting many passengers daily while providing safety, reliability, and improved rider experience. Currently, there are several ways in which transit providers are using artificial intelligence, which gives drivers real-time information on traffic jams, accidents, weather conditions, estimated time of arrival, and many more aspects of transportation requiring attention. Applications of advanced artificial intelligence technology optimize traffic management applications, reducing wait times, energy use, and emissions by as much as 25 percent. AI in transportation is expected to provide safe, efficient, and reliable transportation while minimizing the impact on the environment and communities.
Apart from the above areas of application of artificial intelligence, business across the globe is leveraging artificial intelligence in measuring energy consumption patterns and increasing energy efficiency for quality control, maintenance through built-in calibration, etc.
While discussing the basic facts about artificial intelligence to have a better insight into AI technology, we also need to know the advantages and disadvantages of AI.
Benefits of Artificial Intelligence
Here are the major benefits of artificial intelligence:
Artificial Intelligence of machines would improve overall efficiency and increase the amount of products or services a company can produce and deliver to its clients. It would also create new opportunities for revenue generation and cost savings.
One of the major benefits of artificial intelligence for businesses is increased automation, which will considerably reduce operational costs. Machines with AI would perform tasks that would once have required intensive human labor. Hence, there will be economic consequences to the widespread adoption of machine learning and other AI technologies.
Frees up humans to do more creative work
Humans are not best served by doing tedious, repetitive tasks that machines can do. This is where AI can be a true benefit for us. It would free humans to apply their valuable time and talent to other business areas.
Improves our lifestyle
More use of AI in our society would improve our lifestyle and create more efficient businesses. It can make marketing more targeted. Some routine tasks, like answering emails, data entry, etc., can be done by intelligent machines. Smart homes would be able to reduce energy usage and get better security.
Helps to get better healthcare
One of the most important benefits of artificial intelligence is the increased integration of AI tools in everyday medical applications, which helps us get better health care. It would improve the efficiency of treatments and avoid costs by minimizing the risk of the wrong diagnosis.
Can take risks on behalf of humans
In various situations, Robots can be used instead of humans to avoid risks. For example, Robots can be programmed to explore Space in place of humans because the human body can not endure different situations. In Military forces, Robots can be programmed to defuse a bomb. This reduces possible errors and can save human lives.
Disadvantages of Artificial Intelligence
While AI will help us to be more efficient, live a safer and healthier life, and manage resources efficiently, there are also certain challenges and concerns about the AI-infused future. Though, in my view, the benefits of AI will outweigh the concerns it causes, according to experts, here are some major disadvantages that artificial intelligence may cause as it continues to evolve:
Cannot emulate human intelligence
Machines cannot replicate human intelligence, which is a gift of nature. They do not have any emotions and moral values like humans. They perform how they are programmed and cannot judge right or wrong. They cannot make decisions if they encounter a situation unfamiliar to them. In such situations, they either perform incorrectly or stop working.
No improvement with experience
Unlike humans, the artificial intelligence of machines does not get better with experience. It can lead to wear and tear with time. Machines are unable to alter their responses to changing environments. They may be able to store enormous amounts of data, but access and retrieval are not as effective as in the case of the human brain.
No creativity and imagination
Creativity and imagination are not the strong points of artificial intelligence. Robots can only do the work that they are programmed to do. They cannot act differently outside of whatever algorithm or programming is stored in their internal circuits. But when it comes to a creative mind, machines are no match for the power of thinking that the human brain has.
May cause unemployment
Fearing that AI will disrupt and take away our jobs in the coming days is logical. Therefore, policymakers need to address this concern about possible rising unemployment due to more and more applications of AI technology. International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that half of the structured and repeatable tasks will be automated in workplaces by 2024 due to the use of AI-infused software.
According to a McKinsey report, such repeatable job profiles could experience a decline from 40% to around 30% as a share of total employment by 2030.
Therefore, policymakers must address this understandable concern of the declining share of employment in the job market. The companies will have to focus on the huge task of refreshing and skilling their people to work with AI. The individuals will have to adjust to this transition to new types of employment and update their skills to match a dynamically changing job market.
Reduce privacy and independence of individuals.
Since autonomous systems reduce or altogether eliminate the need for human involvement in carrying out certain tasks, AI may bring greater pressure on us to live according to what ‘the system’ wants us to do and what not to do. Individuals may have to sacrifice independence, privacy, and power over choice. We may lose the autonomy to decide for ourselves about varied ways of doing things. Many experts believe that with the advent of AI, decision-making on key aspects of life may have to be conceded to code-driven tools to stay competitive and get things done.
Future of artificial intelligence
As artificial intelligence applications become increasingly indispensable in our society, it will change how we work and live. It is clear from the examples of artificial intelligence – from facial recognition to language translators, SIRI to self-driving cars, healthcare diagnosis to stock market analysis, chat-bots (a computer program that conducts conversations with human users) to image recognition that AI is progressing faster than ever.
As voice and facial recognition continue developing, machine learning algorithms increasingly become more capable. Deep neural networks now allow AI to learn how to move from doing tasks to solving problems without needing any instructions. AI, Machine Learning (ML), and Robotics are progressively automating our daily tasks. The examples include – companies using AI in HR and People management, healthcare providers using AI to provide better healthcare services, maps and ride-sharing apps using AI in route planning and pricing, online retailers using AI to understand buyers’ preferences and buying habits, and many more.
From the above-trending facts about Artificial Intelligence, it is not hard to visualize the future of AI. It is clear from the AI facts that artificial intelligence apps will play an increasingly larger role in our day-to-day lives as the future unfolds. Future progress in AI technology can be easily envisaged because venture capital funding of AI companies is rising significantly globally, reaching a record $9.3 billion in 2018.
Scientists have created an Artificial Intelligence (AI) based system that directly translates thoughts into intelligible and recognizable speech that may help people who cannot speak regain their ability to communicate.
Future possibilities of AI
Here are some examples of artificial intelligence future possibilities as it continues to evolve:
- Would create fully functional Robots
Robots will be used in various ways as robotic technology advances with the incorporation of AI. They could be made to take up hazardous jobs and can be employed to do work considered undesirable for humans;
2. Would create efficient virtual assistants
In the coming days, AI-driven virtual assistants will anticipate your needs and provide you with various personalized services tailored to your needs without waiting for external instructions;
3. Would enable better healthcare services
Artificial intelligence applications in healthcare seem poised to transform how we collect, understand, and use historical patient health data. This is going to revolutionize medical diagnosis, treatment, and research.
By monitoring someone’s brain activity, the technology developed by researchers from Columbia University can reconstruct the words a person hears with unprecedented clarity. The breakthrough, which harnesses the power of speech synthesizers and AI, could lead to new ways for computers to communicate directly with the brain. It also lays the foundation for helping people who cannot speak, such as those recovering from a stroke, regain their ability to communicate with the outside world.
While AI may not be able to replace doctors and nurses, it can make them more effective and efficient on the job as it takes the cognitive burden off our health providers;
4. Would provide Robotic Care service to children and elderly
AI-driven virtual assistants and functional robots would provide personal care to the children and elderly needing supervised care service at a level nearing human efficiency.
Since the virtual assistants would be capable of performing important functions to keep the older adults healthy and safe at home, the elders would be able to continue to stay at home and avoid moving to an assisted living facility;
5. Would create virtual models for advertising
The application of artificial intelligence in advertising seems poised to transform how apparel companies use fashion models to showcase their products. AI technology could find use in creating virtual models for advertising and displaying apparel. When widely adopted, it could reduce the need for brands and online stores to invest in photo shoots to showcase their products;
6. Would create a complete, end-to-end customer service
Experts project that by the next 2/3 years, more than 85% of all customer interactions will be handled without needing a human agent. A virtual assistant would answer your customer questions directly on the front end and provide your human agents with the information and resources that they need on the back end;
7. Would be able to make important Atmospheric predictions
We know that lightning is one of the most unpredictable phenomena in nature, which regularly kills people and animals and sets fire to homes and forests. The researchers are working on a method that uses a machine learning algorithm that has been trained (using data collected over ten years) to recognize conditions that lead to lightning. The machine learning model would be able to predict up to 30 minutes in advance when lightning will strike at any place within a 30 km radius around the observation point;
After going through the facts discussed above, it is easy to predict that Artificial Intelligence will play an increasingly significant role in our daily lives as the future unfolds.
Frequently asked questions
Now that I have discussed the major facts about artificial intelligence, let me also address some of the queries often made relating to AI.
What is unique about artificial intelligence?
The unique thing about artificial intelligence is that it achieves inconceivable accuracy through deep neural networks.
What are the benefits of artificial intelligence?
The major advantages of Artificial Intelligence are,
- 1. Improves efficiency
- 2. Reduces costs
- 3. Frees up humans to do more creative work
- 4. Can take risks on behalf of humans
- 5. Improves our lifestyle
- 6. Helps to get better health care
What is an interesting fact about AI?
One of the most interesting facts about AI is that, as per scientific prediction, AI is expected to surpass human intelligence within the next 20/25 years.
From the above discussion on the basic facts about artificial intelligence as an introduction to AI, it should not be difficult to understand that Machine Learning is actually the practical face of AI. It’s about identifying data sources and creating systems that analyze that data and make decisions based on it. Artificial Intelligence allows machines to learn from experience, adjust to new inputs, and perform human-like tasks.
It would be evident from the artificial intelligence facts discussed above that AI aims to improve computer functions related to human knowledge, such as reasoning, learning, and problem-solving. This partnership of humans and AI offers many opportunities to unlock new possibilities. There is no better and more prominent display of this technology than what self-driving car is doing with it currently. A few years back, using a fully automatic car was a dream. Automobile companies have made so much progress that we already have a fleet of semi-automatic cars on the road using artificial intelligence technology.
However, having said that, while the future of artificial intelligence discussed above should continue to advance and improve the quality of life across multiple industry settings, it does not have the ability to replace humans in situations that require creative and flexible thinking.