What is Artificial Intelligence?

Automation is the new prerequisite demanded in every domain of work these days. Be it anything like bank, college/university, agriculture, transportation, industries etc, automation is necessitate. To fulfill this goal of automating activities, artificial intelligence is the required multidisciplinary field. Many confuse or consider AI with robots, machinery and many other physical structures but its not their mistake to understand it as such. Its the level of visualization that they have been provided through many resources and they understand it as such. AI is far more than just complex machine structures. If we look around, we can analyze it is present in many small ways. One can very well analyze in their mobile phones.

We can say its an endless era that has started and is expanding more than our visualizations. What we have not achieved yet can be achieved through this astonishing technology.

Many top companies like google, microsoft etc started working on this more than a decade ago but didn’t represented themselves in any limelight back then. Earlier, due to unavailability of machines for complex computations, things were more difficult to achieve than today. Back then, our normal computer CPU’s were not compatible for these tasks and it was not everyone’s cup of tea to afford complex computing machines. It's not easy today also on individual basis but still people have better positions to overcome it. Many colleges/universities as well as research labs/centers across the world have started to go into the depths of this and thus can easily manage machines as per their need.

There is lot that can be discussed about this emerging field. Simply considering a beginner, who just want to get started in this field and analyze its scope and future, this article tries to fulfill all those things. We will try to cover as much as we can from a beginner point of view and need, but still if there happens to be missing anything or if you feel like it doesn’t suffice to the needs, your feedback are most welcomed and we would like to improve as much as we can.

So, let’s get started.

Artificial intelligence is rolling rapidly in the era of technology. John McCarthy is the “founding fathers” of Artificial Intelligence along with Alan Turing, Marvin Minsky, Allen Newell and Herber A. Simon. Dartmouth Conference in 1956 started AI as a field. The primary objective of this field is to automate activities in such a way that less human intelligence is required. Till now, this field has achieved great success in various domains like heath, agriculture, transportation etc. It has unified many diverse problems and laid to the foundation of a scientific discipline.

Let’s get familiar with some terms used in AI.

Weak AI, Strong AI, General AI and Superintelligence

First of all, all these terms refer to the same thing that is artificial intelligence. These are all synonyms and what they refer to is an algorithm or set of algorithms that is capable of performing tasks better than humans.

We use the term strong AI when we think it will be stronger than us. We call it general AI when we think it can be applied to all the problems. Opposite of strong AI is weak AI and opposite of general AI is narrow AI.

Siri is a good example of weak AI. Weak AI implements to build a system which can behave like humans but not think like them. Its an algorithm that is trained to do one thing and it does that one thing very well. Its an approach considering that AI is and will always be a simulation of human cognitive function. It considers that computers can only appear to think but are not actually conscious in any sense of the word. It is bound by the rules imposed on it and cannot go beyond that. It is also known as narrow artificial intelligence. Siri seems to be very intelligent and is capable of holding communications with the humans but it actually operates in a very narrow predefined manner. It has internet behind serving as a powerful database.

The AI that is being deployed in the world currently is a cluster of machine-learning models, each of them capable of performing one task very well.

Strong AI is all about producing more and more accurate predictions about the data you feed it. There are two organizations that is working on top of all other organizations in the field of AI and these are: Google and OpenAI. AI research at google mostly happens at Deepmind and Googlebrain. The progress made in the field of computer vision in the last decade of detecting objects with 100% accuracy can be considered as strong AI.

In simple words, we can say that machines can take over humans in various working areas. Playing games on computers where the computer plays an anti-role to the user, this is all a part of Artificial intelligence. If we talk about the Goals of AI then, It’s all about to create expert systems and make them intelligent.

Advantages :

Use in space technology: There are many space agencies that are using AI to design intelligent space agents, develop support systems for spacecraft, develop smart object detectors for path navigation. With the passage of time, the demand for Artificial intelligence is increasing in aerospace technology. In 2003, NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, and many other companies, created software that could enable a damaged aircraft to continue flight until a safe landing zone can be reached. The software used a neural network.

Agriculture: AI advancements in agriculture had shown tremendous improvement in yield of crops. AI is now capable of predicting the ripening and picking time of a crop, thus, increasing efficiency. Soil and crop monitoring, predictive analysis, robotic machines, greenhouse automation, modelling, simulation and various other optimization techniques are advances provided by AI in agricultural fields.

Computer Science: So many tools, programs, algorithms have been created using AI to solve complex tasks. We can list some of the inventions like automatic storage management, graphical user interfaces, time sharing, functional programming, dynamic programming, object detection, disease prediction, artificially intelligent chatbots, face recognition systems etc. Many ongoing research in computer science are: Deepfake, AI chatbot etc. The DARPA (a research group associated with the U.S. Department of Defense) has given 68 million dollars to work on deepfake detection.

Finance: Algorithmic trading, portfolio management, data mining, personal finance, market analysis, stocks prediction have been made possible using various machine learning algorithms. Complex AI systems are capable of making trading decisions at speeds which are greater than several orders of magnitudes than any human is capable of and making millions of trades in a day without any human intervention. Many banks, proprietary trading firms, funds, IT industries now have entire portfolios which are managed purely by AI systems. Several products, tools, dashboards are surfacing that employ AI to assist people with their personal finances.

Healthcare: AI in medical sector has reached to another level solving many bigger problems and making ease at hospitals. Some of the major advancements are: Predict HIV progression, Design treatment plans, heart sound analysis, computer-aided interpretation of medical images, drug creation, disease prediction, companion robots for the care of elderly, predict the likelihood of death  from surgical operations etc. IDx's first solution, IDx-DR, is the first autonomous AI-based diagnostic system authorized for commercialization by the FDA.

Heavy machines industry: Robots are known to almost everybody. They are often given jobs that are considered dangerous to humans. They have proved their ability to carry out tasks which are quite repetitive, may lead to mistakes or accidents etc. Currently, Japan has the highest density of industrial robots in the world. US, China, South Korea are also improving their pace in this field.

There are many more applications of AI like human resource and recruiting, job search, music, media, e-commerce, online customer service etc. Its not possible to cover all in this article. For going through all other applications, do follow the link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Applications_of_artificial_intelligence.


Program specific: They can only perform the actions they are programmed for. They can’t process the external instructions.

Divergent thinking: Robots are not so creative. They don’t have the capability to think out of what they are programmed for. They can perform the tasks but only they are made up for. Robots can’t be more creative than humans.

Insensitive: They don’t have feelings or emotions. They can’t make human-like emotional bonds. They could never receive creativity that humans have. Even if coded with common sense and to learn, it seems hard for them to get as much common sense that humans could.

High cost: Resources used for AI are very expensive. They can cost a lot of money and time to build, repair and rebuild. Robotic repair can occur to reduce time and humans needing to fix it, but that'll cost more money and resources.

Jobs downturn: Possibilities are jobs will be decreased in the looming time. AI machines can handle various human tasks, which can lead to lesser jobs. Errors will be lesser as compared to humans so most machines will be considered to work as they don’t get tired and are less expected to make errors. Robots, with them replacing jobs, can lead to severe unemployment.

There are many good points covered in researchgate regarding points where AI can’t be much useful. Please follow this link to see a nice discussion of this among researchers https://www.researchgate.net/post/What_are_the_advantages_and_disadvantages_of_artificial_intelligence.

Future scope of AI

Leisurely, AI is stepping out to the real world from the research labs and transforming the world.

Do you think that you should be worried about losing jobs due to AI? We can say that NO, you shouldn’t. AI can’t be more intelligent than a human. Yes, It is going to be helpful in future but It will need manpower as well to build a system and for the maintenance.

According to Forrester research, Artificial Intelligence will drive the insights revolution.

People are afraid of losing jobs but in reality, they shouldn’t because it’s creating the new opportunity for the people where people will need to train the bots, models, data and teach about it.

The AI can take over the jobs are mining, driving cars, factory workers which are dangerous for a human being. It can reduce the risk of injury. There is a use of AI is that the workers can take help from the AI rather than to work manually. We can improve the performance of the work. AI is bringing drastic change in many fields like face recognition, cyber security, transport, bots, data analysis, marketing, robotics etc. These domains require lot of manpower and human intelligence to build systems, maintain and repair them. So, in short, never ending job opportunities. One just needs to choose their passion and interest in any of the fields or technologies one would like to work. There is no full stop to job in any of the domains of AI.

We hope this article would have given you a brief insight of artificial intelligence and how it is changing the present era of technologies. There are many opportunities in advanced technology. Explore more and grow more. That’s all we can say.

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