Friday, April 19, 2024

What is artificial intelligence, really?

Xaminai CTO Dr Adrian Johnston.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a popular term in recent years, and as people who build this technology one question we are often asked is “What exactly is AI and what can it do?”

By Xaminai CTO Dr Adrian Johnston.

Well, have you ever found yourself on a family road trip, picking out and counting different cars by colour, make and model? Or playing a game of “I spy” to pass the time? This type of object identification and decision making, even by young children, far surpasses the abilities of traditional computer programs.

Programs like Microsoft Excel or your web-browser, rely on many combinations of simple rules to process data and display information. In contrast, AI systems learn to solve problems in a similar manner to humans.

Those of you who have spent time with children would understand a little about what it takes to train AI. Many examples such as images, text is shown to the AI (or child in your case) and it is asked a question, if the answer was incorrect, it is told the correct answer and updated to be better next time.

In the workplace, AI can perform many simple and complex tasks that would traditionally have been performed by humans. It can be used to make machines move, drive, or fly by themselves (think self-driving cars or robotic arms), to optimise the energy consumption in a data centre or the logistics of a complex supply chain. It is currently used to identify and grade fruit, seafood and even manufacturing defects. AI can also be used to write reports, generate images, and even create realistic computer voices, and in some cases, it can even be used to predict future outcomes.

AI is poised to impact every major industry. There has never been a better time than now to think about how your business can adopt an AI system to improve performance, save costs and increase productivity.

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