The Science Behind Artificial Intelligence And Why It is The Next Big Thing

By:Tushar Walia 2018-02-01

Before we get to the nitty-gritty; let’s first understand what the term ‘Artificial Intelligence’ actually means.

Science Behind the Term

Colloquially defined, artificial intelligence is something which gets applied when a particular machine mimics cognitive functions and tasks which are associated with human minds through and through. Such tasks might include the likes of problem solving and learning from situations. It is perhaps a simulation of human intelligence processes done by hi-end machines or specialized computer systems.

The processes include learning from the information bits that are acquired, using a set of pre-defined rules to make conclusions and indulging in self-improvement on the basis of analysis.

The term AI (Artificial Intelligence) was the brainchild of John McCarthy; who was a reputed American computer scientist. He coined the term at the Dartmouth Conference of the year 1956.

Types of Artificial Intelligence

AI can be broadly and most commonly categorized in 2 ways:

1. Weak AI – Weak AI or narrow AI as it is often referred to is a system which is specifically designed for a task or a list of functions. Example? Siri! Apple’s Siri is the biggest example of a weak AI.

2. Strong AI – Also labelled as artificial general intelligence; it is that AI system which can improvise its functions and actions when a complicated task presents itself. Basically, it is laden with human cognitive abilities along with self analysis and improvement factors which allows it to perform tasks which might seem impossible for a man-made machine. The worldwide famous Turing Test (by Alan Turing back in the year 1950) is one such example; even if occupies a somewhat controversial stature, it forces people to wonder that machines can actually think like human beings do.

Now that we’ve established the premise, its time to check out what the fuss is all about. Artificial intelligence is one of the largest buzzwords in the prolific tech industry of today’s world. It is here, there and everywhere. Some of the biggest companies are now flocking towards its applications, trying to integrate it within their internal regimes.

Why is AI the Next Big Thing? Because of its wide array of applications:

AI in Healthcare – Some of the biggest medical names are now using machine learning techniques to bring out faster and more accurate diagnoses which can substantially improve medical outcomes and directly assist in better patient recovery. One of the prime examples is that of IBM Watson as it automatically understands the language and answers the many questions laid out in front of it.

AI in Business – Robotic process automation is being integrated on a wide scale to fasten and improve redundant tasks which used to be performed by humans. Not just that, machine learning algorithms are finding home in various CRM and analytics platforms to improve customer service.

AI in Education – The biggest help would be to automate the entire grading system; which is what AI has done. AI tutors can help students individually just so they can progress at their own pace. Also, it takes a lot of the burden away from the shoulders of talented teachers; who can now use their quality elsewhere.

AI in Finance – Right from collating personal data to providing critical financial advice to trading assistance, AI has vastly improved the utility of finance applications such as Turbo Tax and Mint, to name a few.