What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the creation of intelligent machines and computer programs.

When many people think of AI, they think of robots that can walk, talk, and think. This area of research is called Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), and is distinct from “narrow,” applied AI.

It is generally agreed that AGI is quite a ways off.

Applied AI, however, is not.

Today, some of the most important AI technologies include:

Combined with computer processing power, technologies such as these allow AI to vastly outperform humans at a number of specialized tasks.

Applied AI can:

  • Automate existing human tasks
  • Identify patterns and relationships within data
  • Use logic and reason to solve problems

In the context of business problems, companies can gain a competitive edge and perform tasks that might otherwise be impossible.

For instance, AI-powered recommendation engines — such as those found on ecommerce sites or social network feeds — analyze user behavior and optimize content delivery to maximize engagement.

Because AI can automate certain job functions currently relegated to knowledge workers, it is poised to be a very disruptive field of technology.

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