Decoded: What is artificial intelligence and how can it be a gamechanger?

First, we need a basic definition of artificial intelligence.

AI is the ability of machines and computers to mimic the human mind’s decision-making and problem-solving capabilities. Note that that ability is limited at present. But, it still has massive implications for everything that constitutes the human world.

Now let’s go a little deeper.

With AI, machines can understand and achieve specific goals. It is built on machine learning and deep learning.

Machine learning is the process by which machines automatically learn from existing data. However, some human intervention is involved in the process. Here, the machine usually requires more structured data to learn.

The second component, deep learning, allows machines to absorb large amounts of unstructured data in the form of text, images, and audio. Unlike machine learning, it doesn’t require human intervention to process data. Deep learning comprises neural networks.

Key features of AI: An AI system must have some of the following characteristics…

  • Observation

  • Analytical ability

  • Problem-solving

  • Learning

The sub-fields of AI are…

  • Deep learning

  • Machine learning

(Source: IBM)

Broadly speaking, AI can be divided into two categories.

The first is known as narrow AI, and it’s the kind that can today be found everywhere – from detecting faces in pictures and flagging content online to dealing with simple customer care inquiries. The most common example of narrow AI that you’ll run into is the online chatbot.

The second is general AI, and it remains just a concept to date. General AI is envisioned to be as adaptable and flexible as human intelligence.

However, by when we will be able to develop general AI is a subject that is being hotly debated. Some say it’ll arrive as soon as 2040, while others say it’s centuries away.

So what are we using AI for at present? Some of the most common examples of real-world applications of AI systems are speech recognition, customer service, computer vision, recommendation engines, and automated stock trading. However, this is by no means an exhaustive list.

But why is this technology considered a gamechanger? Let’s just listen to what Pricewaterhouse Cooper has to say on the topic.

According to PwC, AI could contribute up to 15.7 trillion dollars to the global economy in 2030. Of this, 6.6 trillion dollars are likely to come from just increased productivity and the remaining 9.1 trillion dollars from consumption-side effects.

China and North America are expected to be the biggest beneficiaries, with China seeing a 26% boost to GDP, and North America 14.5%

Let that sink in.

Only time will tell whether AI will replace humans and take over the world like in the movies. However, either way, it’s best that we prepare ourselves for an AI-driven life.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *