By Jose M. Aquino, MSc

Artificial intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems. Specific applications of AI include expert systems, natural language processing, speech recognition, and machine vision.

Origins of artificial intelligence

From at least the 1st century BC. C., humans have been concerned with creating machines capable of imitating human reasoning. The term «artificial intelligence» was coined in 1955 by John McCarthy.

In 1956, McCarthy and his associates organized a conference called the «Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence» that spawned machine learning, deep learning, predictive analytics, and more recently, prescriptive analytics. A new area of ​​study has also emerged: data science.

Why is artificial intelligence important?

Today, humans and machines are generating data faster than it is humanly possible to absorb and interpret it to make complex decisions.

Artificial intelligence is the foundation of all computer-based learning and represents the future of complex decision-making processes. For example, most human beings can learn not to lose in a simple game of three in a row, when there are 255,168 possible actions, of which 46,080 lead to a tie.

Computers can calculate these combinations and the best possible permutations very efficiently to make the right decision.

AI (with its logical evolution, machine learning) and deep learning represent the future of decision making.

Uses of artificial intelligence

AI is present in our daily lives. It is used in financial institutions fraud detection services to predict purchase intentions and in interactions with online customer services.

Here are some examples:

Fraud detection. In the financial sector, artificial intelligence is used in two ways. Apps that rate credit applications use AI to assess consumer creditworthiness.

The most advanced AI engines are responsible for monitoring and detecting fraudulent payments made by credit card in real time.

Virtual Customer Service. Call centers use to predict and respond to customer requests without human intervention.

Speech recognition and a human dialogue simulator are the first point of interaction with customer service. More complex requests require human intervention.

When an Internet user opens a dialog window on a web page (chatbot), her interlocutor is usually a computer running a specialized form of AI. If the chatbot fails to interpret the question or resolve the issue, a human agent takes over. These interpretation failures are sent to the machine learning system to improve future AI application interactions.

Without a doubt, AI has come to optimize and simplify various processes that in the past were totally mechanical and manual.

(The author is a Systems and Information Technology Professional with more than 15 years of experience. Professor, Consultant and Entrepreneur)


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