Admin / March 28, 2019

Understanding Artificial Intelligence

Understanding Artificial Intelligence

If you are reading this blog, you probably are aware about Artificial Intelligence or ‘AI’ as we put in simpler words. There is also a possibility that you have heard of multiple applications of AI and are now probably confused about what exactly it is!

Is the chatbot that you recently implemented for your social media is AI or is it the hitch-hiking robot you heard of AI? Is Google Analytics an example of AI, and if it is so then what is ML or NLP or all the terms the tech teams or AI firms keep throwing all the time?

Well, this blog answers a lot of these questions, and by its end, you will get well acquainted with AI.

To begin with, here is the definition of AI as Britannica defines it:

Artificial intelligence (AI), the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings. The term is frequently applied to the project of developing systems endowed with the intellectual processes characteristic of humans, such as the ability to reason, discover meaning, generalize, or learn from past experience.”


How it all Started?

Talking about the Indian context in specific, AI has been discussed in Indian mythological books dating before Christ. The ‘Pushpak Vimana’ for an instance, was a very evolved example of AI considering how one did not have to tell it the directions. It had the capability to read one’s mind; this was in fact even more advanced than the self-driving cars we are witnessing today.

However, it wasn’t until 1936 that Alan Turing put Artificial Intelligence to practice the first time ever in the more recent times by helping England decode the German cryptic signals. The English mathematician and computer scientist later went on to present a paper on ‘Computing Machinery and Intelligence’ in 1950 about the capacity of a machine to showcase human like capabilities like reasoning, learning, planning, and creativity; which in turn led to all invention in AI we are witnessing right now.

Moving ahead of 1950 and as 2000s advanced, the world was now facing two different challenges: Advancement of Algorithms that allow machines to learn being one and the infinite amount of data being produced continuously owing to the development of digital world being the other one.

Now, before we go further, let us see what ML is. Machine Learning (ML) is the science of getting computers act without being programmed. Moreover, it is the ability of machines to learn automatically and improve from experience. Machine Learning focuses on development of computer programs that can access the data and use it for themselves. The process begins with observation of data in order to look for patterns in the given data and then make better decisions in the future based of the instances provided.

To understand what is spoken and what is the intention behind the conversation, machines should be contained with languages. This is where Natural Language Processing (NLP) comes into picture. NLP combines computer science and linguistics that aid computers to understand the meaning behind human language. AI is a branch of Machine Learning, which if we have to go by a Venn-diagram approach lies on the intersection of Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing

Over time, the elements in Artificial Intelligence are being improved upon significantly resulting in the impact of AI being seen in sectors like Marketing, Entertainment, Healthcare, Real Estate, etc. The next section talks about some of these advances.

AI’s advances in the Business World Today

Just like every new technological trend, AI is catching up too and with the pressure to bring differentiation and innovation to survive in the market being at an all time high, the advances that AI has been making can be termed fascinating at the very least.

For instance, let us take the example of the Entertainment Industry and narrowing it down further, the Superhero Sci-fi movies which almost all of us love.

Other than showing the future as a science fiction, these movies are using futuristic technologies such as AI too. For instance, in one of the highest grossing movie ‘Avenger: Infinity War’, the crew used AI and other sophisticated software which turned Josh Brolin into the mad Titan – Thanos; they used AI algorithms trained on high resolution scan of his face as inputs to track expressions to minute wrinkles whilst another algorithm was implemented to automatically map the resulting facial expression onto Thanos before the animators went about giving final touches. Futuristic, isn’t it?

Moving on to the healthcare sector, a recently introduced virtual nurse, Molly was a breakthrough in health management. Its follow up, care, voice, can be replicated and customized, and indeed it learns about the patients over time and starts responding accordingly.

Real Estate which is considered to be a highly unorganized sector has also seen the inroads of AI in a lot of its marketing operations. By deploying Virtual Customer Assistants (VCAs), these firms are now leveraging the benefits of being in touch with their prospects all the time. So, if someone after getting a raise feels that maybe they should invest into real estate, all that needs to be done is to go to the site of the Real Estate firm (for instance Kolte Patil) and the bot would readily give all the required information.

Talking about VCAs, Racetrack.ai recently launched an update for its smart communicator MARVIN, an updated VCA which provides customized sales intelligence as well. We call it MARVIN 2.0 and guess what, it comes packed with sentiment analysis as well.

The things do not end here. However, in addition to the aforementioned Hospitality, Education, and BFSI are some of the segments that have also seen the advent of AI. In some very peculiar cases, AI has become a burger flipper too or has supported with hiring engineers as well. To cut long this short, AI has gradually started making inroads in at least almost all the major business segments.

All Good Things Come to an End

The power of AI is growing steadily with precision in each of the verticals it is showing up. Remember the robots you saw in the movies like Terminator, Star Wars, or Star Trek? What if somebody tells you that they might actually walk among us someday; would you believe that? Maybe not, but you also cannot deny the possibility of that happening is not zero at least. Of course, it might take lots of experiments and time, but then, isn’t changing the world is just cracking one code away.

Nevertheless, coming to the near immediate future, by 2020, AI is expected to generate around 2.3 million new job opportunities. This job shift is something that will be discussed in the upcoming blogs.

Hoping this blog was insightful and have cleared your understanding about AI!

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