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Artificial intelligence

What is artificial intelligence (AI)?

Artificial intelligence encompasses computer systems that seek to imitate human cognitive functioning through machines, processors, and software in order to carry out data processing and analysis tasks.

In layman’s terms, they are machines designed to reason, learn, act, and solve problems. AI integrates a programming design that is capable of storing information about a certain area to convert it into knowledge and implement it in day-to-day human activity. 

AI ranges from software – such as virtual assistants, search engines, and voice and facial recognition systems – to integrated systems – robots, drones, and autonomous vehicles, for instance. 

What types of artificial intelligence are there?

  • Reactive machines: this is a simple model that seeks to reproduce human behavior through actions that react to stimuli. Their role is to respond, not to learn. 
  • Limited memory: these are also reactive machines but with some memory, which enables them to learn data and make small decisions. This type of AI is applied to facial recognition systems and chatbots, for instance. 
  • Theory of mind: this is one of the most innovative AI models; it seeks to understand higher-level interactions such as human emotions, needs, and inner reflections. It needs more research and is projected for the future.
  • Self-awareness: though this is only a concept and there are no concrete creations of this type of AI, self-awareness suggests that machines might go beyond replicating human behavior and become able to think and act autonomously, gaining awareness of themselves. 

What does artificial intelligence do?

Artificial intelligence has been used in various fields like robotics, computer science, finance, healthcare, autonomous transportation systems, the world of video games, and communications. In these fields, machines are capable of handling large amounts of data that allow them to identify and understand verbal commands and images, and even performing complex calculations and actions very quickly. 

These systems, then, serve to perceive their environment and relate to it, and to act with a specific objective after exhaustive data collection and processing. In other words, it is applied technology for addressing tasks in the market. 

Here are a few examples of how artificial intelligence is used in different sectors: 

  • Personal: assistance via smartphones, tablets, and computers
  • IT: cybersecurity assurances
  • Production: assembly and automation in factories and laboratories
  • Finance: fraud detection
  • Climate: reducing deforestation and energy consumption
  • Health: identifying genetic factors that help predict disease detection
  • Transportation: manufacturing self-driving and smart vehicles
  • Agriculture: anticipating environmental impact and improving agricultural performance
  • Commercial: sales forecasts

Fun facts about artificial intelligence

According to a study done by the European Parliament: 

  • In North America, investment in AI has exceeded €18 billion, in Asia, more than €9 billion, and in Europe, more than €3 billion. 
  • In the last decade, there has been a 400% increase in patent applications for implementing artificial intelligence.
  • By 2025, 60 million new jobs could be created as a result of AI and robotics development.
  • In April 2021, a proposal was made about turning Europe into the world center for developing reliable artificial intelligence.

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