Today, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have taken the technological world by storm. AI governs our lives in ways that often go unnoticed, be it the voice-enabled Virtual Assistant waking us up in the morning, or the facial recognition that Facebook ran on the picture uploaded last night. With self-driving cars to AutoPilot mode in Airplanes, the evolution of Artificial Intelligence is leading more and more businesses to move towards AI-powered solutions.

According to Gartner’s 2020 CIO agenda report, leading businesses expect to double the number of AI projects by next year. By the end of 2020, approximately 40% of them plan to deploy AI solutions. With this paradigm shift, significant players, start-up businesses, public organizations, scientific research, government agencies, military, etc.,- all require AI experts.

However, as the youth is increasingly discussing this technology, it buds different perceptions- often leading to confusion. One of the most common misconceptions is to use the term AI and ML interchangeably, although there is a clear difference. While Artificial Intelligence means designing smart devices or systems, ML refers to empowering the computer system with the ability of self-learning using the available data and making precise predictions. AI is a broader concept, a superset that depicts various tools and algorithms used for making machines replicate human behavior and intelligence; ML being one of those techniques.

Does this leave you more confused? You now know that AI is not ML, but precisely, what is the actual Artificial Intelligence definition? If the question bewilders you, read on.

What is AI: Explained in a Nutshell

Years ago, it seemed non-viable to have machines that can act and think like humans, but today, AI has made it attainable.

Artificial Intelligence meaning explains it as a branch of science or engineering that teaches the ability to analyze the environment and simulate human-like characteristics and behavior in machines. AI implements algorithms to generate this intelligence in computer systems, thereby enabling them to solve complex business problems of the human mind. The machines are programmed to make them think and act and are called intelligent only when they are capable of weighing the consequences of an action.

AI can be achieved either through algorithms, patterns in machine learning models, Natural Language Processing, or Reinforcement Learning. It is used in almost every industry currently- logistics, automated warehousing, education, healthcare, automobiles, retail, manufacturing, and production, to name a few.

Why Does AI Matter So Much?

Why is suddenly everyone talking about AI? What are the benefits of Artificial Intelligence that is drawing everyone’s attention?

The benefits of AI come from the fact that it can enable a machine with the required skill sets to mimic human intelligence for completing a task. There are several advantages of AI systems over traditional computing systems. 

  • AI minimizes human intervention resulting in reduced human errors. 
  • AI doesn’t wear out or gets tired, unlike humans. It can work efficiently and quickly for almost forever.
  • As machines put logic above all, AI systems prove to be rational decision-makers and aren’t governed by emotions like humans.
  • AI systems can make our everyday life seamless through digital assistance like Google voice assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, or Apple’s Siri.
  • AI is a machine, so it can reach places where humans can’t. Whether it is the ocean floors or outer space, AI covers areas that are dangerous to humans.

Some of the disadvantages of Artificial Intelligence are that it is expensive to implement, and it can’t learn or make intelligent decisions on the job. However, its benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

Different types of AI

At a very high level, Artificial Intelligence is classified into two types: Narrow AI and Broad AI, which are also known as Weak AI or Strong AI, respectively.

  • Narrow or Weak AI: Narrow AI is built for a particular purpose and to solve a specific problem. It is trained to do one thing in the best possible manner. The AI applications that we see today are mostly examples of Narrow AI. Google search, voice assistants, self-driven cars, facial recognition applications, chatbots, email spam filters, etc. are all examples of Weak or Narrow AI.

  • Broad or Strong AI: Broad or strong AI is the form of Artificial Intelligence that we see in science fiction. This brings us to address the question: What is the Strong Artificial Intelligence in computer science? Systems built through this type of AI expects the computers to understand humans and empathize with them truly. It uses a theory of mind AI framework which distinguishes needs, emotions, values, and the thinking ability of intelligent beings. Till now, there is no strong AI application in the real world.

Though Fujitsu built a supercomputer that was able to simulate one second (1s) of human brain activity but took 40 minutes to achieve so, it is a remarkable attempt towards achieving Strong AI. Still, considering the time taken, it is hard to say when and how Strong AI will be accomplished.

Apart from the above two, there is a third hypothetical form of AI known as Artificial Super Intelligence. Super AI means that one day, machines wouldn’t just mimic human behavior; instead, they will surpass human intelligence. There will be highly intellectual and intelligent machines causing a threat to humankind. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, is worried about this aspect of Artificial Intelligence.

The Rising Demand For Artificial Intelligence

The way AI is redefining our day to day lives, we can say that it is here to stay. There are limitless possibilities for exploring AI. Artificial Intelligence is transforming the global technology market and creating numerous jobs in the industry. AI jobs are in high demand, and all your dream companies are the key players of AI today, namely- Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft.

If you are a student paving your way towards a technical career, or if you are already in the software profession, delving into Artificial Intelligence at this point will help you level up your game. It is the skill of the 21st century with high-paying jobs and a future-proof career. Though AI is not easy to learn, you can master it through persistent efforts and practice.

If everything about AI explained in this article drives your passion and dedication to work for this amazing industry, what are you waiting for? Start your journey now.

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