How does artificial intelligence work?

Artificial intelligence is intriguing, astonishing, and sometimes unsettling.

22 March 2022

Artificial intelligence is intriguing, astonishing, and sometimes unsettling. However, it is still difficult to know what this term really means. Is it a futuristic project? Or is it a revolutionary solution? AI is a part of our daily lives. So, what exactly is artificial intelligence? And most importantly, how does it work?

What is artificial intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a field of computer science that can create a form of technological intelligence equivalent to human intelligence. It is still difficult to define it universally, but it is subject to various theories. Nowadays, there are several methods used to reproduce it. The problem is that artificial intelligence raises many practical, political, and ethical questions. Should it show empathy or rationality? Where does intuition fit into artificial intelligence? Artificial intelligence and all of its potential is both intriguing and scary.

Yet without it, the fields of medicine, travel and business would not have progressed as much as they have. How exactly has artificial intelligence made these revolutionary developments possible?

How artificial intelligence works

The human brain is already in itself quite complex. There is a reason why our society needs neuroscientists, neuropsychologists, psychiatrists, and psychoanalysts. So, when it comes to creating a ‘technological double’, where do we start?

Artificial neural networks

Artificial intelligence is similar to human intelligence in the sense that it works through an interconnected neural network. This is why artificial intelligence experts have created equations with varying parameters. Each equation is interconnected with the other equations to create artificial intellectual stimulation. In other words, the knowledge of artificial intelligence is the result of these equations – also called functional units – that work with each other using a bottom-up approach and are constantly enriched. This neural network takes the data we want to process as its input. In this case, the equations are used to extract the important information from the data and to infer a possible relationship with the expected outputs. The purpose of different round trips between the layers are used to check that the network is working properly and that the inferred equations are relevant.

Through this interconnection of artificial neurons, artificial intelligence comes as close as possible to the workings of the human brain.

Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence has a neural network that is constantly learning to advance. Simply put, artificial intelligence improves itself as it experiments, collects, and analyzes data. This enables it to refine its sensory or motor abilities. Every second that goes by is an opportunity for the AI to become more efficient. This is the principle of Machine Learning, the autonomous learning of a machine via data patterns and predictive analysis.

This is why artificial intelligence must be constantly stimulated. This is where humans come into play to create a solid knowledge base for artificial intelligence. The idea is to give it lots of data to analyze while knowing the final result. This is a way of checking the accuracy of its analytical abilities. Although lengthy training and preparation phases are necessary before the machine is optimal, the result is worth it: in the long term, the learning machine will be able to deliver the expected data more quickly and more accurately.

Reliability of AI

Once the learning phase is over, the inference phase begins. This phase consists of making calculations from the equations/neurons of the AI that were adjusted during the learning phase.

As a result, AI provides not only accurate results, but predictive results. In other words, many sectors can use AI to present the best offers to their community. In the insurance, real estate, or banking sector, an AI-based customer relationship solution can be a great asset.

However, we must not forget that artificial intelligence is often based on probabilities. Consequently, its performance may differ depending on the quality of the data it receives.

Even so, artificial intelligence has a groundbreaking ability: it can be replicated indefinitely. The same artificial neural network can be used to answer questions from an insured person, to estimate the price of a property, or to compare business proposals. It is nevertheless important to adjust certain parameters so that the model is compatible with the new data, which is known as ‘fine-tuning’.

Artificial intelligence increases our human capacities, which are sometimes limited by our understanding or our physical abilities. It works 24/7 and keeps on improving without feeling strained!

Artificial intelligence works almost like human intelligence in the sense that it is modern, evolving and, above all, very promising. While it cannot replace human intelligence at this point in time, it is enhancing it and ensuring that we are at the top of our game. In the long run, artificial intelligence is a strong ally!

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