You are in an era where you can see the fast evolution of technology from being reactive to proactive. From being passive machines to active and intelligent machines. You are witness to the time when computers are slowly taking up space in every aspect of your life. Look around. You will have some form of electronic intelligence around you. Why is the song you hear on your favourite music app driven by algorithms that use artificial intelligence? What is this artificial intelligence, and in what other ways does this technology help? If that is your question, follow along to understand it and better appreciate the benefits that it is expected to offer.
What Is Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence, as per Wikipedia, is “the study of intelligent agents, those systems that can perceive its environment, and take actions that maximize its chance of achieving its goal”.
In simple terms, artificial intelligence is the ability of machines (computers) to understand their environment and carry out various tasks that would otherwise require human intelligence. In other words, the goal is to get machines to do what humans can. In this technology’s stage, it can do some primitive physical tasks, like walking, jogging, picking up objects, responding to stimuli, and more. But it is far from completely replacing humans. The one aspect where there have been major advancements is to get a machine to understand from what it has already read through and how it can react to verbal input or query based on this learning. This is the cognitive ability of humans. So yes, machines have reached a stage where they can go through petabytes of data or information and can answer questions based on the learnings.
Artificial Intelligence is a concept and not a technology that you can apply directly to computing machines. Several underlying technologies make Artificial Intelligence possible. Technologies like Machine Learning, Deep Learning and Neural Networks, and other related subjects like Natural Language Processing or Image Processing, make Artificial Intelligence possible.
To use artificial intelligence, you do not need to make a full replica of human beings complete with the ability to walk, talk and think like humans do. To apply artificial intelligence to our daily lives, it only suffices to make a specific task where humans have employed machine intelligence and are capable. For example, you employ a human being to sort out defective items from a production line. With the appropriate application of technology, you can make the machine intelligent enough to do this task independently. You do not need to build a complete humanoid with all capabilities to replace a human completely. You would need only the capabilities of vision and dexterity in a machine to achieve the goal.
That might have been a trivial example, but consider this one. You might have had a chat online with a support staff of any business. Let’s say you are looking for an air ticket reservation, and when you go to the airline website, you are presented with a chat box with an agent to help you quickly. An intelligent machine drives this chat interaction. These are called chatbots. These are intelligent machines that can understand a particular language in textual format and provide answers accordingly.
With that long enough introduction, you might have got a good idea about what artificial intelligence is.
Advantages Of Artificial Intelligence
Many businesses have started employing artificial intelligence to leverage the several benefits it offers over human resources. Artificial intelligence is used to perform tasks that used to take a human being, but it never set out to replace humans. While artificial might replace some workforce at some basic levels, it also creates higher opportunities for technical talent.
Businesses are usually driven by hard facts and employ artificial intelligence to help improve their bottom line. Using artificial intelligence has also become a trend in the corporate world, and each business is using it to better their chances in the marketplace against competitors. Let’s look at some benefits of artificial intelligence.
Some of the important advantages of Artificial Intelligence are,
Artificial Intelligence Reduces The Time Taken For A Given Task.
It is a known fact that machines are faster than humans in every way. Computing is no different. With artificial intelligence, you can have the machine scan through hundreds or even thousands of images to identify the right match in a matter of seconds.
Artificial Intelligence Enables Multi-Tasking.
Usually, a simple task might involve multiple repetitive tasks that can be done simultaneously, sometimes by the machine, and get faster results.
Unlike Humans, Machines Do Not Take Breaks And Are Available 24/7.
Humans under normal circumstances can work up to a maximum of 15 hours a day in some unusual circumstances but are normally expected to work about 9 hours. You would still not get 100% productivity out of humans all day. Machines, on the other hand, are always available.
One of the most important aspects of artificial intelligence is that it is mostly error-free. Apart from learning from huge amounts of data, machines constantly learn from new experiences and perfect their performance, literally every second.
Those were some hard-driven factors that push businesses into adopting artificial intelligence. Let’s now look at how artificial intelligence is helping humans.
How Does Artificial Intelligence Benefit Humans?
Some of the tangible benefits that artificial intelligence offers are in medical scanning, imaging and genome sequencing. Other more tangible benefits are in the field of mobility, home improvement, customer engagement and entertainment.
In the future, you would not need to drive cars or have them driven by a human. The cars will drive themselves to your destination or anywhere you command them to take you. This is achieved through artificial intelligence technologies like Deep Learning and neural networks, and sensing and imaging technology.
This technology, when fully implemented, will virtually eliminate the prospect of road accidents, saving thousands of lives around the globe.
It started with desktop assistants and today has grown into home assistants capable of controlling anything and everything in your house. You can even interact with the system remotely, allowing you to check on your home from a remote location. Personal assistants like Alexa from Amazon or Siri from iOS have become virtual assistants at our homes and sometimes offices.
You can today speak to these home assistants to get anything done with hardly any effort. This helps save a lot of your time and effort and helps you focus on your core tasks.
Predict Natural Disasters
Based on thousands of ground sensors and data collected over the past, artificial intelligence-enabled weather models can now predict natural disasters with more accuracy than evermore. Weather prediction that helps detect wildfires or volcanic eruptions has facilitated quick and in-time evacuations and already saved many lives.
We, as humans, hate to wait. There have been times you must have spent a long time on the queue of a customer care line only to be disconnected a few minutes later. This no longer happens; you have access to instant help from customer care, thanks to chatbots. Chatbots are driven by artificial intelligence to understand the context and tone of the question and give an appropriate response from the database. This improves the customer experience and allows employees to focus on other more important and complex tasks.
Ultimately artificial intelligence will take over almost every aspect of our lives. Now is the time to upskill yourself and be ready for the future. There are many well-curated artificial intelligence courses on Greatlearning.
The AI courses on Greatlearning designed in collaboration with Great Lakes will lead to an industry-recognized certification in Artificial Intelligence.