Artificial Intelligence Explained

Artificial Intelligence Explained

Artificial Intelligence or AI refers to computers, computer controlled machines or software that simulate human intelligence.

Features of AI include decision making, reasoning, learning and ongoing correction. AI can be used in every day applications, as an example much of the trading that happens on the exchanges around the world is undertaken by AI based software.

Broadly speaking AI is categorized two ways.

Narrow AI is used to provide human like intelligence but directed to a specific and singular task. Examples of narrow AI includes facial recognition, Q&A customer service bots,  or an application like Siri which has a pre-defined narrow set of responses it is able to recognize and reason with. Narrow AI applications are already well developed and operating successfully in many situations today.

General AI uses higher cognitive abilities to solve problems or answer questions with no specific predefinition. General AI, can learn to apply reason and decision making to problems that are unfamiliar when initially presented. Machine Learning (often confused with AI) is a technology which enables AI to learn and understand unfamiliar scenarios.

AI can be broken down even further.  Reactive AI has no memory and does not learn from past experience, it analyses and make decisions based on predefined data and algorithms. Applications such as those that play board games against humans are a real world example of reactive SI. Limited Memory AI uses a small amount of previous experience to make new decisions. Navigation technology that uses traffic update data to reroute directions are an example of this type of AI. With the advent of Big Data the amount of “memory” that can now be collected and remembered is now extensive. We are headed to to another type of AI that has been termed Self Aware AI. AI “machines” develop a personality and consciousness that emulate emotions. Whilst this type of AI is in its infancy, we have seen early examples such as facebook’s teenage girl chat bot. Long term, Self Aware AI could be used for applications such as human companions.

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