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A brief introduction of AI and why it is important


Artificial intelligence (AI) is not new. It has been around for decades. However, due to greater processing speeds and access to vast amounts of rich data, AI is beginning to take root in our everyday lives.

From natural language generation and voice or image recognition to predictive analytics, machine learning and driverless cars, AI systems have applications in many areas. These technologies are critical to bringing about innovation, providing new business opportunities and reshaping the way companies operate.

This guide introduces some of the main concepts around AI. It explains what artificial intelligence is, how it is different from machine learning and how businesses across diverse sectors are using it for competitive advantage.

Applications of AI in Business

Today, there are numerous applications of artificial intelligence in the consumer and business spaces, from Apple’s Siri to Google’s DeepMind. Siri, for example, uses natural language processing (NLP) to interpret voice commands and respond accordingly. Google’s DeepMind, on the other hand, uses deep learning. It is capable of making connections and reaching meanings without relying on predefined behavioural algorithms, instead learning from experience and using raw data as its inputs. In fact, by applying findings from DeepMind, Google was able to improve the efficiency of its own power centres, reducing the energy used for cooling by 40%. In the business world, artificial intelligence is enabling businesses to work smarter and faster, doing more with significantly less. As technology and society continue to advance, more organisations are looking for powerful, sophisticated solutions that will improve and streamline operations.

But it’s important to appreciate that artificial intelligence is an umbrella under which a number of different technologies reside. Machine learning, deep learning, robotics, computer vision, cognitive computing, artificial general intelligence, natural language processing and knowledge reasoning are just some of the main branches of artificial intelligence.