Since before the dawn of the computer age, scientists have been captivated by the idea of creating machines that could behave like humans. But only in the last decade has technology enabled some forms of artificial intelligence (AI) to become a reality. Interest in putting AI to work has skyrocketed, with burgeoning array of AI use cases. Many surveys have found upwards of 90 percent of enterprises are either already using AI in their operations today or plan to in the near future. Eager to capitalize on this trend, software vendors – both established AI companies and AI startups – have rushed to bring AI capabilities to market.
Suddenly, artificial intelligence (AI) is everywhere. For decades, the dream of creating machines that can think and learn like humans seemed like it would be perpetually out of reach, but now artificial intelligence is embedded in the phones we carry everywhere, the websites we use every day and, in some cases, even in the appliances we use around our homes. The market researchers at IDC have predicted that companies will spend $12.5 billion on cognitive and AI systems in 2017, 59.3% more than they spent last year. And by 2020, total AI revenues could top $46 billion. In many cases, AI has crept into our lives and our work without us realizing it.
Machine learning is enabling computers to tackle tasks that have, until now, only been carried out by people. The next wave of IT innovation will be powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning. We look at the ways companies can take advantage of it and how to get started. From driving cars to translating speech, machine learning is driving an explosion in the capabilities of artificial intelligence -- helping software make sense of the messy and unpredictable real world. But what exactly is machine learning and what is making the current boom in machine learning possible? At a very high level, machine learning is the process of teaching a computer system how to make accurate predictions when fed data.
Home Depot uses it to show which bathtubs in its huge inventory will fit someone's oddly shaped bathroom. Apple uses it to present customers with relevant apps from the app store. Intuit uses it to display the right help page when a user is filling out a particular tax form. And organizations are turning to it in droves to differentiate and innovate their offerings. In a recent interview, Gartner Fellow and Vice President Tom Austin noted that about half of large enterprises are experimenting with "smart computing" projects.
As a data scientist at an AI company, my colleagues and I are as tired of the hyperbole and conflicting information in the space as you are, friend. It seems like everyone's got their own definition for the AI buzzword du jour, and it's leading to a lot of contradictions and confusion--and that's not helpful for anyone. There have been a few noble attempts from academics, tech journalists, other AI companies, and fellow data scientists at simplifying industry concepts and laying some groundwork on key terms for us all to agree on. But I've found them either still too marketing-y or so rambling they leave your head spinning. Below are my fluff-free explanations of popular AI terms.