What is Artificial Intelligence

An Introduction to Artificial Intelligence

What exactly is intelligence? Intelligence can be defined as our ability to acquire and apply knowledge. It also involves other capabilities such as being able to reason, plan, adapt, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, and learn from experience.

Intelligence is a trait that we humans tend to value highly. On the other hand, when something is artificial, it is often associated with more negative attributes such as being bad or of lower quality than something we would consider natural.

But what about Artificial Intelligence? 

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence, often referred to as AI, is a vast subject area that deals with all the aspects of building humanlike intelligence in machines. Therefore, AI helps machines to be smarter, often by examining how humans solve real-life problems. In reality, AI entities are only mimicking humanlike intelligence but do not fully grasp the essence of what they are doing. This is why AI is bakealso called machine intelligence to contrast it to human intelligence

How does AI work? 

AI entities can perceive, predict, adapt and interact with their surroundings and act appropriately. But how does it achieve this purpose? To simulate the problem-solving and decision-making capabilities of human beings, Al uses algorithms that when given some data, can make an intelligent decision as to what the data means or what actions need to be taken next. Typically the ability to make the decision is earned from previous experience. 

Important vocabulary related to AI you should know

Simply put, an algorithm could be compared to a recipe. When you bake, for instance, you need to follow a certain set of instructions to achieve a particular result. Similarly, an algorithm is a set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving by a computer. Therefore, the Al algorithm consists of some computer code and numbers saved in a file. 

Input data is whatever information is necessary to make an informed decision. This could be anything from sales transactions, stock market trends, images, text or voice commands. 

An Intelligent Decision is a decision being made that is limited to a set number of possible options and the Al identifies which option it thinks has the greatest probability of being right. 

The Al learns how to make good decisions from training on a large dataset or a set of examples.

What can AI do?

AI programs can do an exceptional number of things that range from recognizing faces and transcribing spoken sentences. There are also AI programs that can spot subtle financial fraud, find relevant web pages in response to ambiguous queries, map the best driving route to most any destination, and translate between hundreds of languages.

Today, AI touches many aspect of our daily lives. If you have ever checked the weather, talked to a digital personal assistant, snapped a picture with your smartphone, or even searched for information online, you have used AI.

Moreover, AI can help in various fields:

  • Manufacturing and service industries (automatically generating high-quality schedules while considering various parameters and meeting potentially conflicting objectives, find driving directions from one location to another through a network of roads with real-time updates based on dynamic events such as detours, constructions, and traffic delays)
  • Finance (fraud monitoring, investment decisions support, data mining of customer behaviors,…)
  • The military (target discrimination, setting up intelligent missile defence shields, robot steering,…)
  • Healthcare (diagnosis, medical treatment, robot-assisted surgery,…)
  • Law enforcement (robots for rescue, bomb disposal, hostage situation, …)

In the end, what is the goal of AI?

Many businesses with access to a massive volume of data are developing AI programs to help them make smart decisions and offer improved products and services. AI can also work conjointly with big data to solve challenging problems by discovering exciting patterns from massive data volume.

It is therefore useful for companies to look at AI through the lens of business capabilities rather than new technologies. Broadly speaking, AI can support three important business needs: automating business processes, gaining insight through data analysis, and engaging with customers and employees.

Interested in AI and industry 4.0 for your business?

We know how challenging it might be to embrace modern technology for many manufacturers as they are faced with a large amount of new technology to choose from. This is why Industry 4.0 Skillnet is there to help you choose and implement the right tech for you. Please visit our website https://industry4skillnet.com/ to get access to various training courses on industry 4.0 to improve your business’s productivity and profits.


Binto George and Gail Carmichael Artificial Intelligence Simplified: Understanding Basic Concepts, 2022

Holzinger Andreas, Langs George, Causability and explainability of artificial intelligence in medicine, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1002/widm.1312

Mitchell M. Artificial Intelligence Hits the Barrier of Meaning. Information. 2019; 10(2):51. https://doi.org/10.3390/info10020051

Orr Susan, Manufacturers embrace advanced technology, but carefully, 2021

Russell, Stuart J., and Peter Norvig. Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach. Fourth edition, Pearson, 2021

Thomas H. Davenport and Rajeev Ronanki, Artificial Intelligence for the Real World, 2018

Skellig.AI, Traning courses, The Value of Artificial Intelligence

What is Artificial Intelligence
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