Artificial intelligence is the science and practice of creating intelligent machines. For the last 60 years, AI practitioners have aspired to develop machines that can perform cognitive tasks such as problem-solving, reasoning, reading, talking, and playing games that are typically associated with humans and what humans would consider intelligent.

In business, AI is used in many applications. Some examples are:

  • Intelligent assistants that help with scheduling meetings
  • Recommendation engines such as those deployed at Amazon  
  • Voice transcription services such as Trint, and Otter.ai

Over the last few years, the following AI capabilities have been integrated into standard business processes:

 1. Text: AI understands the written word and can translate it, and generate it 

2. Voice: AI understands the spoken word and can interpret it, act on it, and talk back.

3. Conversation: AI understands questions, contexts and communicates with humans  

4. Vision: AI identifies objects and understand images and video and can detect intention and anomalies  

5. Automation: AI can automate large volume, repeatable tasks previously conducted by humans

6. Robotics: AI can power physical robots to perform the task and learn continuously (e.g., Roomba robot vacuum cleaners)

7. Controls: AI controls machines, plants, operations 

 8. Planning, Scheduling, Optimization: AI manages resource allocation, production, logistics, and supply chain

 9. Prediction & Recommendation: AI makes predictions based on data analysis (e.g., stock recommendations) and recommends an action

 10. Autonomous Operations: AI operates a unit based on its evaluation of the environment and the context (e.g., plants, drones)

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are often confused. Machine learning is a subset of artifical intelligence. Please go here for a detailed description.

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