What is Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence and how can it help

December 17, 2018 | Rob LaPointe

There’s been a lot going on with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. It’s being used in so many different aspects of our lives. Sometimes it’s obvious and sometimes it’s not. One thing that people are constantly questioning is what exactly is it. One thing it’s not is The Terminator. It will not be taking over the world, it’s not actually that smart, YET!

Here we are going to break it down into what exactly both of these are, the ways it is being used, and how they can work for your business.

What is Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is simply a technology that can mimic human behavior. It learns through repetitive actions and can find answers and solutions based on that data. It still needs information from humans to be able to properly provide answers. If it has that it can simplify all of the things we do daily.

Siri and Alexa and are the most obvious examples of this. It tracks your habits and makes recommendations based on what you do daily. It uses learning algorithms to do this. It takes the inflow of information and is constantly making and changing its answers with every new bit of information it receives.

It can even take that information and make predictions about things. Amazon is a great example. When you search and look at certain products and/or buy them, AI takes that and then it will recommend other items that relate to that. Based on your continue searching and buying it will adjust what it recommends to you.

Where and how it is being used

Retail – Both brick and mortar and e-commerce stores have become more personalized, provide better customer service, and improve the way they manage stock.

Finance – With so much fraud going on it can flag these fraudulent transactions instantly. It can also help determine loan approvals and amounts.

Medical – helps doctors diagnose illnesses and helps patients manage their health and medication.

Transportation – Smarter scheduling of public transit and ridesharing as well as predicting traffic behavior.

Shipping – improve the efficiency of the entire shipment process from receiving the order, determining better routes, and then delivering it on time.

Manufacturing – Connecting equipment to help improve production time and accuracy.

AI is not going to take over. Humans working with AI allows us to have better analytics in many different industries. It Improves our accuracy and provides us with a better understanding of how to get to a particular answer based on certain data. It also allows us to communicate better with anyone in the world improving our business relationships.

Although AI has a lot to offer just about any company in any industry, it’s not perfect and has quite a long way to go. What’s important to remember about AI is that it always needs data to be given to it. The more data it is given the better the results. It can’t make any decisions without it. This also means that if the quality of the data provided is not good then the results won’t be that great either.

Every company that wants to incorporate AI into their business has to have it made specifically for them. There is no AI package you can purchase to work for you. Your specific company data has to be put in for it to provide you the correct results.

Another important aspect to remember is that AI can only do one task at a time. This is where the Internet of Things (IoT) comes in. With the use of many little devices that are all connected to one another, a bunch of data gets collected. That data can then be analyzed through AI to provide more accurate results and answers.

The whole point of AI is to make our lives easier. To provide us with help similar to that of what humans would do. We still have a lot to discover about AI as it is nowhere near perfect but it is still helping us as we speak.

What is Machine Learning

Machine Learning (ML) is very closely tied with AI. What ML can do which goes beyond AI is learn from itself. Yes, there is data but it can learn from it and make decisions with much less human interaction than AI. It does not need to be fed direct data from humans. It can actually learn itself and find where to get information to provide results.

ML can analyze a lot of very complex data at a very fast speed and it constantly is adjusting as it goes along all by itself.

Where and how is it being used

Websites – This can make our experiences as customers better through convenience, more accurate product recommendations, and more.

Companies – Better results on what customers think about them or what they want with ML because it can scan the internet. Whether that be websites or social media to find comments about that company, it will figure out where to get the information it needs.

Self-driving car – This is a popular one. It constantly adapts to the road based on data it gathers from weather, lights, other cars, the drivers..etc.

Health – Predicting if someone is mentally unstable and determine when hospitals will get hit with a lot of people. This is also where wearables come in because they can help in many different ways including diagnosis.

Banking – Find money launderers by determining what transactions are legit and which are not, find any other fraud, and determine risk levels for users.

Weather – Helping to better predict natural disasters

Credit Score – More accurate results can be given to creditors

Although it requires less from humans than AI it still needs a certain list of things such as algorithms, scalability and automation details, modeling, and data prep abilities. It doesn’t, however, need to be given the correct answer, it can figure it out on its own. It will find the info it needs and come to a conclusion.

If you want to get the most out of it, you do need to make sure the algorithms, tools, and processes you use gel well together. If not, much like AI it won’t provide accurate answers. Also, much like AI, ML has a long way to go but it is still something that is helping us now and will just get better and better.

How AI and ML Connect

You may still be wondering what exactly is the difference and which one would be better for my business. The answer can be either or both. AI simply put is us trying to make computers think like humans. It literally just mimics us. ML is a type of AI that will literally teach a machine how it should think in order to find the answers. AI is very complex but ML is on another level. With ML, if you give it examples it will understand and learn from them. When it finds the answer on its own it then applies that to other instances.

Even if you are not in any of the industries listed above that is ok, there are many ways Artificial

Intelligence and Machine Learning can help your business. Every business has different needs so you want to speak with someone who can understand that and help you decide which option would be best and how to go about it. Contact Sakshi Sharma from SDI at 408.621.8481 to discuss your options.

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