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Exploring Artificial Intelligence

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a computer program or system that demonstrates behavior that mimics the cognitive capabilities of a person. These programs are developed to think, plan, and create just like humans do.

The goal behind artificial intelligence is the creation of machines that have qualities people associate with being "smart." Different types of artificial intelligence exist today, each one designed for slightly different applications. One type focuses on enabling human-like communication while another assist with tasks such as customer service chatbots or helping doctors analyze medical images. This technology is not new, but it has been the subject of much hype recently. Companies such as Microsoft and Google are pouring resources into developing AI.

How do they work?

Artificial intelligence is focused on imitating the cognitive capabilities of humans. This is done by using algorithms that mimic human decision-making. The term "algorithm" means a set of instructions or steps that take place in a computer or another machine. Humanlike intelligence can be created using such an algorithm.

Algorithms have been around for quite some time, but they have become more and more advanced as time goes by. In the past, the way decisions were made in computers was limited to the number of binary choices they could make. Most of those decisions had to be made by following the rules of mathematics- a very literal explanation of an algorithm.

Is there an ethical problem with artificial intelligence?

People fear that intelligent machines could replace humans in certain jobs. Many are worried about the potential for AI to follow the same trend as factory robots, which replaced many human factory workers.

Is artificial intelligence used for more than just commercial uses?

Yes! AI is used primarily in the private sector, but other organizations are also using it. The government uses artificial intelligence to try and predict social unrest or outbreaks of disease. In healthcare, doctors use artificial intelligence to assist with difficult diagnoses.

The ability of artificial intelligence to solve problems is growing at an amazing rate. In the future, it may become the go-to resource for solving problems in multiple fields. However, this technology will be most rewarding when it works together with humans.

What are some common types of artificial intelligence?

The most common type of artificial intelligence today is machine learning. Machine learning programs use statistical analysis to find patterns in large data sets, such as those found on social media platforms. The program then compares and contrasts the patterns to determine similar patterns in new data. This type of artificial intelligence is based on a series of algorithms. Machine learning is used by all kinds of businesses, including Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Uber.

Natural language processing (NLP) focuses on a computer's ability to understand and respond to questions in human language. NLP is a subfield of artificial intelligence, which aims to make computers able to understand human language and interact with humans more naturally. This form of artificial intelligence is used primarily in the business world.

What are some flaws of artificial intelligence?

Artificial intelligence can be a tricky topic. Some people argue that the field of artificial intelligence is very disconnected from reality. In this argument, artificial intelligence could be used to create extremely powerful tools, but they would be a dangerous unknown force in the world.

Others argue that artificial intelligence is not as effective as some claim it to be. This group of people believes that most algorithms in use today are inaccurate and not useful enough for solving many problems. They believe that the algorithms can have unintended consequences and may not be able to cope with minor alterations to the data they are reading.


Artificial intelligence, even at its most basic level, has been able to do amazing things. From Siri and Alexa to deep learning methods, artificial intelligence has been changing our world at the speed of light. Therefore, it is about time that we start to wrap our heads around artificial intelligence, and not just its success. The reason being is that artificial intelligence has been a big problem for decades; from Alan Turing's question-answering machines in the 1950s to today's deep learning methods. When looking at the history of artificial intelligence, a window of what AI could be this century is revealed. The more we know about artificial intelligence and how it works, the more we will be able to do outside of using it as a tool.

Digital Vibes utilize human & artificial intelligence to help solve Northwestern Ontario's most pressing issues. Learn more here.

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