Artificial Intelligence for Dummies: What does AI mean?
Asia/ Digital/ Updates

What is ‘Artificial Intelligence’ in Simple Terms?

AI Dictionary What is AI header Photo by Alisa Chau

Whether it is dystopian earth-shattering fear or the vision of a utopic imagined future that the term ‘AI’ provokes from you, the constant trending term of #ArtificialIntelligence has been a near inescapable topic in recent years. But what exactly is AI? And what do all these abbreviations and new tech vocabulary appearing with every explore page or news feed refresh mean?

Join The Beat Asia in demystifying the popular buzzwords in the artificial intelligence scene, so that you know exactly what you’re talking about without having to consult the binary Bard (now Gemini). Welcome to our AI dictionary series.

What does AI stand for?

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a buzzword that has captured the attention of the general public in recent years.

Although the term has been around since the 1950s, it is only in the past couple of years that AI has become a topic of widespread conversation. This surge in interest can be attributed to significant advancements in machine learning that have revolutionized various fields and are starting to shape our daily lives.

What is AI?

So, what exactly is Artificial Intelligence? At its core, AI refers to a highly intelligent computer system that can mimic human behaviour and perform tasks like understanding language, decision-making, language translation, sentiment analysis, and even learning from experience. It is called "artificial" because its intelligence is created by humans using technology.

How does AI work?

Contrary to popular belief, AI is not limited to physical machines or robots. Instead, it exists as programs running on computers. These programs utilize algorithms, which are sets of instructions, to process vast amounts of data and create models that can automate tasks typically requiring human intellect and time.

AI systems can be encountered in various ways. Sometimes, individuals directly interact with AI systems, such as seeking assistance from virtual assistants like Bing Chat. However, more often than not, AI operates subtly in the background, influencing our lives in numerous ways. It suggests words as we type, recommends songs in playlists, and offers more personalized information based on our preferences.

Why do we need AI?

The impact of AI is far-reaching, transforming industries such as healthcare, finance, transportation, and entertainment. It has the potential to revolutionize the way we work, communicate, and live. As AI continues to evolve and integrate into our daily lives, understanding its fundamental principles and implications becomes increasingly crucial.

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