What is Artificial Intelligence?
In simple terms; Artificial Intelligence is the duplication of human intelligence in machines.
This refers to a program that can reason, act like human beings. It is a simulation in technology that allows machines to exude almost the same level of intelligence as humans.
Also known as machine intelligence, any machine that exhibits traits only peculiar to human beings such as problem-solving and execution of actions to succeed at a specific goal is classified as AI. They can think like us humans, rationalize and carry out actions like human beings. AI is built on algorithms which are a set of simple and straight forward instructions.
For some people, it refers to the branch of computer science deals with deep learning and machine intelligence to embed human-like abilities in machines.
In 1950, Alan Turing asked ‘can machines think?’ Well, I think we have the answer to that. The expansion of artificial intelligence over the years has given more than an answer to that question, it has given rise to many questions and debates. Today, there is no singular definition of the field that is accepted worldwide. John McCarthy, who coined the term in 1956, defines it as “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines.” and CEO, Data Robots; Jeremy Achin called it ‘A computer system able to perform tasks that ordinarily require human intelligence. Many of these artificial intelligence systems are powered by machine learning, some of them are powered by deep learning and some of them are powered by very boring things like rules.”
This side of computer science like every other thing has evolved so much we have automated cars, AI Assistants like Siri and google search options that mirror our interests.
How Does AI Work Exactly?
Artificial intelligence is developed to work with human-like intelligence. They are developed to process a large amount of data at an amazing speed to produce the results needed. The programs and algorithms used to build this simulation focus on replicating the human ability to learn, Reason, and Self-Correct.
To be able to effectively do this, AI has components or what one might call aspects of it that come together to make it work in an excellent way that it does. These Components are:
1. Machine Learning
This aspect contributes largely to its learning and self-correcting function. The computer is fed a huge amount of data, using techniques that let it learn these data as well as improve as a result of experience on its own without any form of help from any programmer. This is focused on writing algorithms that can; from data, make correct predictions. You go to Instagram and you only like looking at content on shoes and bags. The ML on Instagram will learn from data gathered from your actions to predict and recommend other things that are similar to your already shown interest, like fancy dresses!
2. Deep Learning
The neural networks of AI are used here to understand patterns, even in the most complex set of data, for application in problem-solving. Through the positive and negative feedbacks gotten, they can learn, re-learn and self-correct. They are also part of the reason human speech can be understood and responded to by these computers.
3. Neural Network
Like neurons to the brain, this neural network works the same magic for AI. It is based on a series of algorithms written to capture connections between existing variables in the data presented and process just like the human neurons do.
4. Computer Vision
This component of AI uses deep learning and pattern recognition to understand, interpret, and process pictorial data. From images, videos and even pictures on PDF documents, computer vision works on comprehending images to enable machines to make sense of what is presented before them, thereby making better decisions based on their observations and interpretations.
5. Cognitive Computing
This component helps ease the human to computer interaction process. How? By mimicking the mannerism of the human brain. They want to make communication and answer production an easy flow between the human and the machine. This is the component that covers that.
6. Natural Language Processing
NLP as it is popularly called, allows AI to understand human speech and languages. This component is part of what makes conversing with your google assistant possible or Google translate understand you in one language and translate into another.
These all come together to form what we know as AI. These are integrals that must work together in any AI machine to provide a seamless user experience. These are the reason why machines can diagnose an illness or scan through millions of data, looking for a face or can communicate in human language with us. Some programs might need all these components and some might need only three to function well, but every AI is formed from the merging of these components.
AI is classified into two levels:
i. Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI)
Known as ‘weak AI’, this AI is focused on a specific task; built to respond to a specific problem. Its features are structured and tailored for a specific use. Google Search, Siri, Facial Recognitions programs etc. are all examples of Artificial Narrow Intelligence.
ii. Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)
As the name implies, this AI comes with general intelligence. Also known as ‘Strong AI’ they come with a human level of understanding. Those robots in Terminator fall under this category.
AI has provided a lot of breakthroughs in diverse fields. From medicine to security and finance, even domestic care, we see Artificial intelligence becoming an integral part of our society. Some think it is here to change the world and others think it is here to destroy it, or at least the human aspect of it. Whatever AI is or is not, it is important to know it and equip ourselves with knowledge of it.