Everything You Need To Know About Artificial Intelligence

What is artificial intelligence? From personal assistants through to automation and increasing understanding of illness, the benefits of artificial intelligence are infinite! But, what is the artificial intelligence definition?

Wouldn’t it be great if someone made a simple and easy to understand guide to artificial intelligence that could help you to the basics of artificial intelligence? I thought so too so here is the Artificially Intelligent Claire guide to everything you need to know about artificial intelligence.

Let’s start with the artificial intelligence definition

Artificial Intelligence Definition

I’m guessing that if you’ve landed on this page, you have some interest in demystifying the world of artificial intelligence.

You’ve probably heard about it on the news, but now you want to know more.

Fear, not all will become clear soon. I’m here to help you start to understand the topic in this my ultimate guide to artificial intelligence.

What’s that image? This post’s featured image is of Greece. Why Greece you want to know? Let me enlighten you -the first reference we know of to artificial intelligence comes from the Greek myths of Hephaestus and Pygmalion. They were a talented lot those Greeks, weren’t they?

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The dictionary artificial intelligence definition says:

Artificial Intelligence is the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks usually requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.

These things don’t sound all that scary now do they? Great to have a definition but what does that mean in practical terms.

What are the benefits of artificial intelligence for you?

I’m going to go into the more technical artificial intelligence definition later in this post and more specific benefits of artificial intelligence. Now you have the dictionary artificial intelligence definition though, let’s re-work it to understand the benefits of artificial intelligence.

Essentially the benefits of artificial intelligence for you is having a machine with the skills that mimic human intelligence to complete a task.

I add the ‘complete a task’ point intentionally.

One thing I want to make it clear that a machine having the intelligence to process human speech and converse is not the same as thinking like a human.

The robots may be coming, but they are a long way off.

What are the different types of artificial intelligence?

First of all, here are some ways you can think of the different parts of the artificial intelligence definition as they relate to human intelligence.

  1. The intelligence to see: Otherwise known as computer vision. This type of artificial intelligence to be able to see what is going on or process images.
  2. The intelligence to hear and speak: The machine needs to be able to listen to what you’re saying, process it and then, depending on the application, respond. This ability is called natural language processing. Virtual assistants like Alexa use it.
  3. The intelligence to do (and translate): This one is probably the most obvious of the three, where the machine can learn to perform tasks, including being able to translate between languages.

Now we have the three monkeys of artificial intelligence! A machine that sees speaks and hears. It also does, but that doesn’t fit with my metaphor…

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Question: what is the difference between machine learning and artificial intelligence?

People often use machine learning and artificial intelligence interchangeably but that’s not the artificial intelligence definition.

You should know that this isn’t accurate.

Machine learning is one application of artificial intelligence that is particularly popular now. Machine learning is not part of the artificial intelligence definition.

In machine learning, you give the machine (processor) the data and let it try to learn the solution to the problem or task by applying statistical methodologies (link to the definition of statistical methods) to the data.

Want to know more about the difference between AI and machine learning? Try this article on Forbes.

artificial intelligence definition

Technical definitions of the types of artificial intelligence

There are two main specialized types of artificial intelligence that you should understand, weak and strong.

Each of these types has different benefits of artificial intelligence.

  • Weak AI: This is where the AI focuses on one task that doesn’t require ‘true’ intelligence. Benefit = automation of tasks
  • Strong AI: This is where it gets more, and the machine starts to have the same level of intelligence as a human brain. Benefit = problem solving

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What are some examples showing the benefits of artificial intelligence I would know?

So now you want to know some examples of AI in action! These examples rerally show some of the benefits of artificial intelligence.

Let’s get straight to it, here you go:

  • Virtual assistants: This is one of the best-known examples of artificial intelligence that we have in our homes. Virtual assistants, like Amazon’s Alexa or Google Duplex both use, AI to interact with us. This post I wrote gives more details on the development of this kind of AI and the Turing Test.
  • Augmented Reality: Does anyone else remember the summer that Pokemon Go catapulted itself into their world? This game used augmented reality to show your favorite Pokemon in your town. This AR requires artificial intelligence – the machine needs to see!
  • Game players: This is an example of using AI to learn a task. Google created the AlphaGo AI that has taught itself to play the game Go. Check out the video below for a demo.

How do you get started writing artificial intelligence programs?

So far we know the artificial intelligence artificial intelligence. Now I want to tell you how to write AI so you can take advantage of the benefits of artificial intelligence.

What you want to think about is what kind of artificial intelligence do you want to create?

benefits of artificial intelligence

Steps to get started with AI

It’s time to get started learning to program AI. However you need to know the steps, so here they are.

  1. Learn to program: This is where I’m at right now. Everyone I have spoken to date recommends starting with learning programming in the Python language. Check out my post to help you decide which course that will help you get learning.
  2. Play around with Bots: Create a bot using the Python you have learned. Bots aren’t covered directly in this guide, but you can read more about them in this article. In particular, it talks about creating a Bot using Python. You can read about how I created a web bot here
  3. Machine learning course: The final step is doing a program to learn about machine learning specifically. Here is my post outlining my recommendations for how to choose your perfect course in machine learning!

I have some ideas as to which course I will use to get deeper into learning to program machine learning algorithms from the discussions I’ve been having with friends recently. Stay tuned for my post outlining my recommendations!

key players in artificial intelligence

Who are some of the key players in artificial intelligence?

Like the image? Key players – get it?

Ok, so I hope you feel like you have a better understanding of the mysterious world of artificial intelligence. The final step in the beginner’s guide to artificial intelligence is to learn about the key players in artificial intelligence.

Time to motivated yourself to learn more! So who can you go to to get excited? It’s time to bring in some key players in artificial intelligence.

This is by no stretch of the imagination an exhaustive list of the players, but as a starter for ten, I recommend you check out these guys.

  1. Google: They have a blog from their AI subsidiary Deepmind. Check it out for updates and latest developments – here
  2. MIT: The MIT university does a lot of work in AI and robotics. Their news feed has some great articles – here
  3. Microsoft: Microsoft has a blog and an AI school to answer all your questions – here
  4. Facebook: There have been a lot of controversies recently about Facebook and AI, but their resources are fascinating. They do a lot of research – here
  5. Amazon: In particular in AWS but also throughout their e-commerce business Amazon uses AI. Check out the blog for updates here

That’s it for now but if you are ready to dive deeper into the benefits of artificial intelligence…

Now you have a good understanding of what is artificial intelligence. I’m so excited that you have decided to learn about it.

Want to dive into some more now? Try these popular posts:

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beginner's guide to AI