What is Artificial Intelligence? How Does AI Work?

Author: Charter Global
Published: July 21, 2017

In general we all know about intelligence, but most people don’t know what Artificial Intelligence (AI) is and how it can help humans. Let’s consider what is happening in the world of AI and why it is receiving increased attention recently.

What does Artificial Intelligence (AI) mean?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans. The original intent of AI was to design a manufactured device which performs mental tasks as well as or better than a human being. AI has become an essential part of the technology industry, and it could change the world. The Internet has played an important role in the applied uses of AI.

“Computers will overtake humans with AI within the next 100 years. When that happens, we need to make sure that computers have goals aligned with ours.”

– Stephen Hawking

The core challenges of AI include programming computers for certain traits such as:

  • Knowledge
  • Reasoning
  • Problem solving
  • Perception
  • Learning
  • Planning
  • Ability to manipulate and move objects

Why Artificial Intelligence?

AI saves time. Computer systems can analyze more information more thoroughly than humans can and in a fraction of the time. For example, one of our users reported that she spent an hour proofing a document and then ran the original through AI software as a test. In less than a minute, it found and fixed all the errors she had painstakingly identified.

AI is helping people and businesses achieve key goals, obtain actionable insights, drive critical decisions, and create exciting and innovative products and services. Every major tech company is investing heavily in AI oriented technology, from autonomous cars to robotic border control agents. Many jobs done by humans could potentially be replaced by computers in the near future.

Goals of AI

  • Create expert systems −  Such systems exhibit intelligent behavior, learn, demonstrate, explain, and provide advice to its users.
  • Implement human intelligence in machines − Create systems that understand, think, learn, and behave like humans.

Applications of AI

Here are examples of how we are already using artificial intelligence daily:

Speech recognition
We could ask Apple’s Siri to order pizza or find the nearest flower shop and we don’t have to type anything.

Facial recognition system
A face recognition system is a computer application capable of identifying or verifying a person from a digital image or a video frame from a video source. One of the ways to do this is by comparing selected facial features from the image and a face database.

Game playing
We can play master level chess. There is some AI involved, but such machines play well against people mainly through brute force computation looking at hundreds of thousands of positions.

Understanding natural language
The input of a sequence of words into a computer is not enough. Parsing sentences is not enough either. The computer has to be provided with an understanding of the domain, and this is presently possible only for very limited domains.

Machine learning
Google search is now enhanced with machine learning algorithms which provide users with relevant content, which is one of the reasons why traditional SEO is slowly dying.

Companies are applying machine learning to make better and faster diagnoses than humans in order to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs.

This is an area that has been at the forefront of incorporating robots into the workflow. Industrial robots used to perform single tasks and were separated from human workers, but as the technology advances, that is changing.

Customer service
The importance of customer service cannot be underestimated. In fact the 2016 Microsoft State of Global Customer Service found that 60% of consumers stopped doing business with a brand altogether as a result of a single poor customer service experience.

Chat bots mimic human intelligence by being able to interpret consumer’s queries and complete orders for them. You might think chat bots are extremely difficult to develop and only huge brands with massive budgets will be able to develop them, but using open chat bot development platforms has made it relatively easy to create your own chat bot without a team of developers.

Human resources and hiring processes
As many HR representative agree, the entire process of recruiting, interviewing, and on-boarding can be extremely tedious. The prospect of applying AI to HR processes has many professionals in the field excited. Through the use of intelligent machines, the day-to-day tasks that typically bog down manpower can be effectively taken care of so agents can focus on their primary objective: meeting the needs of candidates and current employees. Essentially, AI can help put the “human” back in human resources.