Artificial Intelligence has long been a source of fascination for mankind; the idea of machines with the power to think like humans is both incredible and confounding. There are many technical concepts that make up the science of AI, but its main goal is easy to summarize: the objective of AI creation is to build intelligent computer programs. The world of science fiction has hijacked the concept of AI, convincing many that artificial intelligence aims to create lifelike robots. No, AI science is not out to create a race of droids, it is determined to build machines that are useful to humans and the increasingly complex businesses that we conduct. In fact, AI systems are primarily used by major corporations for the purposes of sales, service, and marketing.
Ready to move beyond what you think you know about artificial intelligence and learn about its true applications? Read on!
Artificial Intelligence: The Basics
The most basic definition of artificial intelligence is this: AI is the science and engineering dedicated to creating intelligent machines. Now intelligence, in this sense, refers to the ability to successfully compute data to achieve meaningful goals. It should not be confused with the concept of IQ as it rarely aims to simulate human intelligence and cannot be measured at a comparable rate of development. Though some IQ test questions can be helpful in the development of AI programs they are generally programmed to be highly specialized in one or two particular areas of computation. AI’s ultimate aim is definitely to achieve human-level intelligence, but only in the sense that a program has the ability to problem solve and adapt in order to attain goals as well as humans.
Artificial intelligence research began after World War II and has been consistently researched ever since. It is an ever-changing field, constantly updated and always benefiting from advancing technology. Capabilities that are currently classified as AI are as follows: speech recognition, playing strategic games at high levels, data interpretation, and now, self-driving cars. The progress of AI is practically a constant as new developments and faster technologies come into play.
Measuring AI: The Turing Test and Beyond
The English mathematician, Alan Turing, is thought to be the first to study the concept of artificial intelligence. He gave a lecture on the subject in 1947 and seems to have advocated AI research through computer programs as opposed to building new, untested machines. Turing also developed a set of conditions which are even now used to test the intelligence of a program. What is now known as the Turing Test argues that a machine that can successfully pretend to be human should be considered intelligent.
However, it should be noted that this one-sided test is rather outdated as much of our current AI technology does not focus on imitating human behavior. Much of the AI technology of today relies on the concept of machine learning and focuses on high level computations that are often beyond typical human capabilities. As a result, measuring artificial intelligence with this system has become less pertinent as a requisite to claiming intelligence.
The Brains: Machine Learning
Machine learning is at the heart of AI research today. Where previous iterations of artificial intelligence were comprised of computer programming tricks, machine learning truly captures the ability to model after the mind. Machine learning is what allows machines to sense, analyze, and learn from the external world. This kind of technology is applied in fraudulent bank alerts, your smartphone’s ability to recognize your voice, and even what items you’re most likely to be interested in purchasing on Amazon.
The techniques and tools that are applied in machine learning truly give a program the ability to think by creating algorithms based on mountains of collected data. Predictive analytics and pattern recognition make up the bulk of our 21st century AI applications. This technology helps our devices and businesses become smarter by helping us make better decisions with faster, more accurate information. AI is an augmentation of what we already know or understand not something that seeks to replace us. It is a technology that can – and already does – make life easier.
AI and Your Business
So how can AI and machine learning be applied to the growth of your business or creating a better customer experience? Easy. Feed a program data and learn from the predictive results and analytics it gives back. Truly, there are so many applications for this kind of technology. It has been used in education, finance, and medicine with great results, becoming more accurate with greater data stores and guiding human strategies by carefully arranging and analyzing said data.
Below, are a few bullet points highlighting the areas in which a firm can benefit from AI technology.
- Sales – Through customer demographics and buying patterns AI can determine your best potential leads. Harley-Davidson recently introduced AI to its business strategy and reports that it drives 40% of its sales in New York.
- Marketing – Analytics and predictive programming can help you deliver targeted marketing that delivers the next product, content, or offer you want you current and future customers to see. AI can also determine when the best time for engagement is, sending messages directly to customers for direct engagement.
- Service – AI has the ability to handle your customer service needs by predicting questions and complaints while following strictly programmed parameters. Chatbots can engage your customers and help them navigate your business in order to keep customer satisfaction high.
Artificial intelligence is changing the face of business in almost every industry. By adding to our already vast human abilities and knowledge AI is helping us move forward in countless ways. The forecasting power of AI can grow your business and create a more succinct customer experience. And the best part: with continuing advances in computer technology and AI research, we’re just getting started.