What is Artificial Intelligence ?
Artificial intelligence seeks to copy the skills and abilities of a human mind, using computers.
The idea of AI was first mentioned back in 1950, when Alan Turing asked the question “can machines think?” Over the years the issue has been widely discussed, with developments in computing constantly improving the capabilities of machines to learn and make decisions.
Today, the term artificial intelligence (AI) is often used interchangeably with both machine learning (ML) and deep learning, however there are important differences between these. Read on and we’ll explain more about how AI works, what its benefits and challenges are, and how machine learning and deep learning differ.
How Does AI Work?
Artificial intelligence takes problem solving to the next level, by facilitating the use of vast amounts of data in a wide range of different processes. Algorithms are used to make decisions that are fully data-driven, allowing companies to learn from complex data analysis at lightning fast pace.
There are several different types of artificial intelligence, which work in slightly different ways. These are some of the most common forms of AI:
Automated intelligence: Using machines to automate routine or non-routine tasks.
Augmented intelligence: Enabling people to make better informed decisions using AI.
Assisted intelligence: Making tasks quicker and easier with the help of AI.
Autonomous intelligence: Complete decision making processes, solely reliant on AI technology.
What is Weak vs Strong AI?
Don’t be fooled by the name – ‘weak AI’ is anything but weak. Also known as ‘narrow AI’, this is the type of artificial intelligence which powers many of the applications we use every day. It’s the technology behind Siri and Alexa, for example. Weak or narrow AI is so called because it is designed to complete specific tasks, whereas ‘strong AI’ goes one step further than that.
Strong AI is a theoretical type of artificial intelligence, which centers on the idea of AI becoming as capable as human beings – and eventually surpassing that level of intelligence. Strong AI remains the work of science fiction, but researchers are exploring the possibility of self-aware machines that could potentially solve problems, make decisions and even plan for the future.
Understanding Machine Learning and Deep Learning
Terms like machine learning and deep learning are often used interchangeably, but there are key differences between these subdisciplines of AI. Machine learning is a subfield of artificial intelligence, and deep learning is a further subfield of machine learning. Let’s take a closer look at what these terms mean within the context of AI.
Machine learning is a form of artificial intelligence that’s usually used to answer questions or predict outcomes. With machine learning, algorithms aren’t specifically programmed to solve these questions, however. Instead, they learn from historic data and analyse new information to make accurate predictions.
Deep learning refers to more complex algorithms, which are created using several different layers. These layers include both input and output, meaning that deep learning requires less human intervention than simpler forms of AI. It’s capable of analysing larger volumes of data, without the reliance on manual processes that some algorithms require. As a result, deep learning is more easily scalable and can be used to solve a wider range of problems.
AI: The Benefits and Challenges
The unique capabilities of artificial intelligence bring a wealth of benefits to businesses, but it isn’t without its challenges. Take a look at some of the key opportunities it presents – and the risks to be aware of.
Greater efficiency: The adoption of AI enables businesses to maximize efficiency, cutting down on manual processes to free up time for team members.
Better user experiences: The intuitive experience offered by AI-powered applications can massively improve the customer experience for businesses in all sectors.
Improved productivity: Businesses can improve productivity quite dramatically with the help of AI. Using AI enables companies to make better informed decisions, and design informed strategies designed to help them reach their goals.
Price tag: Incorporating artificial intelligence within business processes tends to require significant investment, particularly if AI is being used to inform complex decisions.
Required expertise: Before AI can be used, it’s vital that responsible team members are fully trained and equipped with the skills they need to make best use of the technology.
Lack of understanding: A lack of understanding of AI can slow the rate of progress, particularly if there is insufficient collaboration within a company. In such situations, it can be difficult to promote company-wide adoption. It is often best to combine AI with human insight.
How are Businesses Leveraging Artificial Intelligence?
Today’s businesses are making use of AI in a number of different ways, showing just how versatile and useful artificial intelligence can be. Here are some of the most common uses of AI in business, to show you what’s possible.
Customer service: Artificial intelligence is now in widespread use in the customer service field. AI is being used to power chatbots and virtual assistants, enabling companies to solve customers’ problems more efficiently than ever before.
Automating workflows: Repetitive tasks that might otherwise have been done manually are increasingly being completed with the help of AI. A key example of this is data collection, a time-consuming task which is now infinitely faster and more reliable thanks to AI.
Predictions and forecasting: AI is capable of predicting outcomes with incredible levels of accuracy, which is why companies are now using it to forecast potential disruptions, check for security issues, predict performance and likelihood of reaching targets, and even predict customer behaviour. Its forecasting capabilities are also particularly useful for pricing teams.
Analyzing data: Artificial intelligence can be used to mine data and interpret data sets, so companies can make far better use of the data they record every day. Information can be easily segmented to answer questions about customer behaviour or create more targeted marketing campaigns. Pricing decisions too can be better informed, thanks to this detailed level of data analysis.
AI and Pricing
AI driven price optimization is a game-changer for pricing and selling teams. With artificial intelligence, companies can use machine learning to analyze data and guide price setting strategies based on past transactions. Customer behaviour can be incorporated into this analysis, helping companies to discern a customer’s willingness to pay at different price points, using data from past interactions.
Use AI-powered analytics to gain an in-depth understanding of both existing and potential new customers, so you can stay ahead of the game in dynamic markets. Find out more about how to use AI in customer profitability analysis and learn how AI-embedded solutions can help you sell more profitably, regardless of market conditions.