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What Is Artificial Intelligence and How Does It Work?

Image of a humanoid robot reading a book

 Artificial intelligence is likely a term that you have already heard of from news outlets or dystopian movies. It is no longer just a fragment of our imaginations, but a reality that we will increasingly come to face with as time goes on.

 Therefore, it will be beneficial for you to read this article where we answer what is artificial intelligence, and how does it work?

     What Is Artificial Intelligence?

 The terminology ‘artificial intelligence’ is employed to describe intelligence that is inherent to man-made machines and software. The term ‘intelligence’ meaning that the system is able to learn from its surrounding environment and past mistakes in order to continuously improve.

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 Artificial intelligence is seen as the next stage of automation, where AI can be used to assist or even replace jobs that require human intelligence to make decisions. The previous stages of automation were made up of machines that had their parameters set by engineers, with any changes or improvements requiring further human intervention.

 A common misconception is that artificial intelligence is supposed to mimic a human, in fact, that is not the case. The aim of artificial intelligence is that it has the ability to act and think rationally. Once this is achieved, a number of repetitive tasks could be outsourced to machines while people can focus on more important tasks that require a higher level of strategic thinking.

     How Does Artificial Intelligence Work?

 What powers artificial intelligence is software? This software will conduct a number of key functions that we will discuss in this section. The first thing that the software will do is to collect the most important sets of data.

 For example, if a social media platform employs AI (artificial intelligence) algorithms, they will collect a lot of data. Such as what makes users stay longer on the platform and how users interact with the content.

The piercing gaze of a humanoid robot

 Then the next step will be for the software to analyze all of this data and understand it. As part of this, there will be a lot of tests conducted by the AI, in order to make mistakes that the AI can learn from. The way that an AI learns is by spotting patterns and methodically testing them. Over a long period of time, this continuous learning will make the AI very adept at its pre-set roles.

     Artificial Intelligence Is Not Just Robots.

 One of the first things that someone will think of when hearing the term ‘artificial intelligence’ is robots. However, in reality, artificial intelligence can be incorporated into software and gadgets. In fact, most of the people reading this article have already interacted and benefited from an AI system.

 A prominent example is the voice-powered virtual assistants that are now included with all smartphones. These AI-enabled assistants are constantly improving by learning new slang, dialects, and languages in order to better serve their owners. In addition, they are able to help you in more ways such as by searching the internet, making calls, and even update your social media.

 Another example is assisted driving technology, which is now available in many premium car models. This AI helps you avoid accidents when driving and also parking. For example, the vehicle will slow down or stop depending on your vehicle’s speed if it calculates that you will hit something.

     The Four Levels of Artificial Intelligence.

 It is not possible to answer the question of what is artificial intelligence and how does it work without discussing the four levels of AI.

 First of all, we will start off with ‘Level 1: Reactive Machines’. This is the simplest form of AI, it does not hold any memory, and it does not learn from its failures. Instead, it has knowledge about certain tasks, which allows it to react when something meets its parameters. For example, a social media network can program a reactive AI that will remove posts that do not meet the terms of service.

 Next, you have Level 2: Limited Memory, this is a slight improvement on level 1 in that it absorbs information. This information helps to improve the system through experimentation. An example of this is face recognition software, as the face recognition feature analyzes more female faces it will get better at doing so.

 Then there is Level 3: Theory of Mind. At this level of development, AI is able to understand that people and animals have their own feelings and thoughts. Through this understanding, the AI will then adapt its behavior in a way that considers the feelings and thoughts of others.

 Finally, you have Level 4: Self-Awareness, this is the most complicated to achieve. At the time of writing this article, scientists still do not fully understand how the human brain works. At the final level, AI will have the ability to understand what it is. Furthermore, it will be able to think critically and philosophically instead of just looking for patterns in data.

     Artificial Intelligence Self-Improvement.

 The true power of AI is its ability to learn. Unlike humans, AI does not procrastinate, get tired, or need to sustain itself in order to survive, such as by eating. Therefore, an AI can be learning constantly without stopping for thousands of hours, constantly self-improving. This is a great advantage, as in the long term it will lead to great efficiencies for businesses and governments.

 Another factor is the memory of the AI. An AI can have its memory expanded pretty much infinitely, while those of humans cannot be. Moreover, an AI will be able to better retrieve the information that it has learned when needed.

     Is Artificial Intelligence Better Than Human Intelligence?

 Artificial Intelligence is much more efficient and powerful than human intelligence. Not even the smartest person in the world could potentially compete with AI in terms of raw information or learning potential. However, there are major differences between human intelligence and artificial intelligence.

Image of robot hands and laptop

 One of those things is that humans are able to be creative. With an AI, a person first has to set parameters for the AI to work within. Therefore, an AI will struggle with thinking outside of the box, which is an important trait for innovation. On top of this, it will make the AI not efficient at doing creative work, such as working in the music and movie industry.

An AI-powered machine or robot will also struggle at interacting with humans beyond the surface level. It will be hard to recreate genuine feelings, even if the AI is able to understand why humans feel a certain way and have self-awareness.

 Due to this, AI will likely not be able to master the same level of emotional intelligence as humans. This is important as humans are not always efficient or the best decision makers. An example of this can be people paying multiple times more for branded clothing which offers no substantial improvement on quality.

     How Will Artificial Intelligence Change the World?

 We hope that we were able to adequately answer your query of what is artificial intelligence, and how does it work? In the last section of this article, we will take a look at how AI will change the world.

 One of the ways that AI will help us is by becoming a partner in our decision-making. People cannot compete with the undistracted information collection that can be conducted by AI. Politicians and the management team of a business will be able to make better decisions thanks to the amount of information that they will have access to.

 Furthermore, the most repetitive and low-value tasks can be delegated to AI, such as moderating the billions of pieces of content posted on the major social media platforms. AI will also ensure that these repetitive lower-value tasks are done more efficiently with fewer mistakes. This will be because AI does not get tired or distracted and also continuously learns.

 Many people fear AI, as they think that it will replace them. This is not accurate, instead, AI is a partner and assistant that will help to improve our lives. Whether that is at our actual jobs or when doing simple tasks such as browsing what movie to watch on our streaming service of choice and driving our cars.

   Read the article: Digital Technologies in the Modern World

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