Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the science and engineering of making intelligent machines. AI research is highly technical and incorporates several subfields. It has multiple applications, including software simulations and robotics. The central goals of AI research cover knowledge, problem-solving, reasoning, perception, planning, learning, and the ability to manipulate and move objects.
Scientists started to work on intelligent machines after World War II. The first may have been Alan Turing, an English mathematician who gave a lecture on AI back in 1947. In 1950, he wrote an article, “Computing Machinery and Intelligence,” in which he analyzed the conditions for considering a machine to be intelligent. His premise was that if a machine could successfully pretend to be a human to a knowledgeable observer, it should be considered intelligent. This is now known as the Turing test. It has proven to be both highly influential and widely criticized, but it remained an essential concept in the philosophy of artificial intelligence.
There are currently many applications of AI. Here are the most common ones:
- Game playing – computers are taught to play games against human opponents.
- Speech recognition – systems that can convert spoken sounds into written words; however, these systems don’t understand what they are writing, only take dictation.
- Understanding natural language – natural-language processing allows people to communicate with computers directly, by simply talking to them.
- Expert systems – engineers interview experts in a certain domain and then try to embody their knowledge in a computer program for carrying out a certain task(for instance, an expert system can help medical professionals diagnose diseases).
- Robotics– computers are programmed to react to sensory stimuli.
Applications of Artificial Intelligence in business
AIis being implemented in business to improve work processes and business operations. In a business context, AI can refer to specific software programs or to the ways in which those programs are used to help companies and organizations carry out a variety of operations and transactions.
For example, if a company uses translation software, this is a real-world application of artificial intelligence. E-commerce also makes great use of AI technology – software and machines act as virtual clerks, and the customer isn’t required to interact with another person when making a purchase online. AI software knows how to process payment and determine if a credit card number is valid.
Many businesses use sophisticated software to act as virtual customer service representatives. Speech recognition and natural-language processing software allows clients to receive customer service without ever talking to a person. Robots have become common in many industries as well. They have proven effective in jobs that are repetitive and can push humans to make mistakes or produce accidents due to a lapse in concentration. There are even robots able to write articles or handle emergencies.
Despite all the advancements in the field though, we’re not able to build true Artificial Intelligence yet. As Jaron Lanier observed, “we don’t yet understand how brains work, so we can’t build one”.