Artificial Intelligence: Far more than Terminator, K.I.T.T. or R2-D2

Artificial Intelligence: Far more than Terminator, K.I.T.T. or R2-D2

6. September 2019

Artificial intelligence? Sure, they’re robots or androids. For example the little R2-D2 from the Star Wars saga or the Terminator from the Hollywood blockbuster of the same name by master director James Cameron. Even K.I.T.T, David Hasselhoff’s cult car in the 80s series “Knight Rider” with its own personality is practically AI. Only with steering wheel, tyres and body.

Or is it not?

To dissolve the whole thing at once: Science fiction stories like the ones mentioned at the beginning do of course shape people’s expectations with regard to artificial intelligence. It is not for nothing that R2-D2 (65 percent), Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator (76 percent) or K.I.T.T. (59 percent) are among the creatures who, according to a survey of 1283 German citizens aged 16 and over conducted by the Allensbach Institute, represent AI in the minds of those questioned.

Learning, self-improving computer software

However, such progressive fictitious robots are to be classified more as pop cultural phenomena and less as artificial intelligence according to current understanding. It is not necessarily a question of robots or machines with a human appearance. Rather, AI – to put it simply – is first and foremost a computer software that is practically capable of learning and self-improving on this basis. Among other things, it can understand language, even plan and argue. This branch of computer science, which deals with the automation of intelligent behaviour and machine learning, is sometimes referred to as “imitated intelligence”.

“Machine Learning

Whether imitated or artificial, this form of intelligence is driven by a technology called machine learning. It is designed to generate more productivity and relieve people of work.
And it is precisely this AI that has long surrounded us in many areas of life. Virtually anyone who uses a smartphone, computer, navigation system, smart home, Google Home, Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa is surrounded by artificial intelligence. Internet giants such as Amazon and Facebook are at the forefront of individually tailored online advertising that is tailored to the network movements and preferences of potential customers and live up to their reputation as “data octopuses” – also a form of AI. Because here, too, almost everything is based on self-learning algorithms. Another example of the artificial intelligence with which we are in daily contact is the fact that data analysis with its learning effect makes it possible to forecast customer and user needs and, for example, to automate repetitive manual activities such as data entry.

However, very few people are actually aware of this.

Artificial intelligence uses a flood of data

In our highly networked world, almost every digital interaction contributes to a constantly increasing flood of data. From a call to a card payment to a visit to a website. The Internet of Things (IoT) has given us another boost here. Cars, textiles and even refrigerators are now regarded as regular suppliers of emormer data volumes. And in order to use this data successfully – for example to tailor marketing campaigns or product features even more precisely to the customer – artificial intelligence is also needed and used for this.

The fact that AI can now be used almost everywhere is due to several factors. For example, today’s computing power is simply able to do this without any problems – without producing more exorbitant costs. Data acquisition is also cheaper. Apart from the fact that more data can simply be captured overall – also because customers allow this in today’s digital world.

New level of productivity and added value

AI can be a real blessing – for customers as well as for companies. Just one example: For example, customer service can provide proactive service due to built-in AI in products. Because intelligence can recognize potential problems in advance and, at best, avoid them. And this even before the customer even requests support. This fact alone offers a whole new level of productivity and added value. Against this background, the result of a survey by “Narrative Science” is hardly surprising. Around 80 percent of managers expect artificial intelligence to increase employee performance in the future and create more new jobs.

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