Artificial Intelligence

Artificial IntelligenceThis month’s topic is artificial intelligence, better known as AI.  There is some confusion about what the term really means and what is actually possible today.  Before we delve into this topic let’s define artificial intelligence.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a branch of the computer sciences with emphasis on creating intelligent machines that work and reacts like humans.  Some of the activities computers with artificial intelligence are designed for include speech recognition, learning, planning, and problem solving.

Knowledge engineering is the core part of AI research.  Machines can act or react like humans only if they have abundant information relating to the world.  Artificial intelligence must have access to objects, categories, properties and realties between all of them to implement knowledge engineering.  Initiating common sense, reasoning, and problem-solving in machines is a difficult and tedious approach.

Artificial Intelligence Techniques

  • Expert Systems – Computer application that makes decisions in real-life situations that would otherwise be performed by a human expert.
  • Neural networks– Systems that simulate intelligence by reproducing the types of physical connections found in animal or even human brains.
  • Fuzzy Logic – Fuzzy logic is an approach to computing based on “degrees of truth” rather than the usual “true or false” (1 or 0)Boolean logic on which the modern computer is based.
  • Natural Language Understanding – Programming computers to understand and interact with users in a natural language like English. This is related to the voice recognition which converts spoken dialogue to the computer-readable text, but without it understands the real meaning of that text.
  • Robotics – Programming computers to see, hear, and react to sensory stimuli. This technique is probably the most attractive field of newcomers.

Artificial intelligence applications are being used in a number of industries, some of these are listed below.

  • Automotive – Self driving cars are already a reality. Today, Florida, Nevada, and California have a small fleet of licensed driverless cars on their roads.
  • Financial – Algorithmic trading is widely used by investment banks, institutional investors, and large firms to carry out rapid buying and selling activities that have been known to beat humans in terms of predictive power.
  • Technology – Artificial intelligence has reached out to smartphones and mobile devices today. With the advent of Siri and Cortana these personal assistants learn your usage pattern, requirements, and preferences and provide you with intelligent recommendations, reminders, and knowledge navigation.  They have natural language processing abilities that let them understand your voice commands or questions.
  • Social Media – Social media is on a quest to make computers more like people. They are not building robots, but there are computer systems that understand what you want, perhaps before you knew you wanted it.

There is no doubt that AI is the hype these days.  Unfortunately, along with hype, there has also been much concern about the risks of AI.  Most of the concerns raised apply equally to technology.

As humans, we do not understand the functionality of many of the technologies we use.  In this age of information, many decisions are already being made for us automatically by computers.  There are endless possibilities: from getting intelligence on automotive diagnostics, to receiving real time support on logistics, to simply understanding the world in a new way.  These technologies exist to enhance human decision making.

I hope that you found this information helpful.  Please feel free to forward it to others.  If you would like to learn more about this topic or would like to request a topic, please contact me. If you missed any past newsletters or would like a printed copy, please visit my website at.

Until next time…Happy Computing!!!

About Michael DeFlorio
I have worked is various positions as a system administrator, support technician, as a help desk support, and as an IT consultant in a corporate environment. I currently run a small business where I provide computer services such as hardware configuration, installation, for residential and for medium and small businesses. You can contact me by email or visit my website at

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