In recent years, the term AI or Artificial Intelligence has seen a huge increase in usage by leaders in tech across a wide range of different industries and applications. While AI once only existed in the minds of science fiction writers, today AI development is becoming a popular and powerful tool for accomplishing tasks with greater efficiency than ever before. Now that AI technology has arrived, it can be hard not to get lost in the noise.

With this article, we are going to walk you through your relationship with AI technology, what it means for you, and how to get started with AI development. Our hope is that whether you want to build your own AI program or are simply interested in the latest trends, that you will learn the basics of AI and what it means for the future of our world. Without further ado, let’s begin by taking a look at the goal of AI and what it attempts to accomplish.

AI development

The Goal of AI

The first thing you should understand about AI is that it is a broad subject ranging from simple calculations to self-steering technology or something right out of a movie like Ex Machina or Chappie. However, for our purposes, the primary goals of AI include deduction and reasoning, knowledge representation, planning, natural language processing, learning, perception, and the ability to manipulate and move objects.

While these goals of AI can already be seen across a series of different industries and processes, there are additional, long-term goals of AI development as well. These goals include achieving Creativity, Social Intelligence, and General or Human-Level intelligence.

While these goals are further down the road, the ultimate goal of creating a series of smaller tasks that can be automatically completed by AI is to put them all together into one program or ‘mind’ in the future. This is when we will truly move into the world of science fiction.

Types of AI

In order to clarify what we are referring to when we talk about artificial intelligence and AI development, we first need to lay out the different types of AI, their differences as well as what makes them unique. From here on out, when we talk about AI, we are referring to one of three different types of AI known as Machine Learning, Neural Networks, and Deep Learning.

Machine Learning

Inspired by the study of pattern recognition, Machine Learning enables software algorithms that are self-teaching and can make predictions based on and about data. Common uses of this type of AI can be seen in our day-to-day lives. For example, the way that Amazon and Netflix recommend offers or suggestions comes from Machine Learning. Without it, we wouldn’t have any level of automation in our systems, something that is hard to imagine in our fast-paced world.

Neural Networks

The next type or level of AI is known as Neural Networks. Taking cures from biological neural networks, AI processes a large number of unique inputs, collecting and organizing them into ‘knowledge.’ Artificial Neural Networks are perfect for making sense out of all the data that we collect. If you have ever heard of the ‘power of Big Data,’ you have probably heard about Neural Networks.

Deep Learning

Our third and final type of AI development we will refer to is Deep Learning. Taking AI a step further than Neural Networks, Deep Learning tries to model high-level abstractions about what a given set of inputs might combine to. Instead of simply performing specific functions at a high speed, Deep Learning analyzes the problem and attempts to create its own solution. This kind of AI can continuously learn and build upon itself, which is both an exciting and terrifying prospect.

Categories of AI

Now, while there are different types of AI, there are also different categories of AI as well. These categories are based on the capabilities of this particular AI development, ranging from zero self-awareness to a system that can match and even outpace human intelligence. These categories are:

Weak AI: Also referred to as Narrow AI, this category of Artificial Intelligence focuses on one task at a time. Consider Siri, which is simply a grouping of AI, but without the ability for true conversation or self-awareness.

Strong AI: Sometimes referred to as True AI, this is where we start to get into science fiction. A Strong AI can match a human’s performance across all tasks. While there is a lot of research in this field, there has yet to be a real life example of True AI.

Artificial Superintelligence: Nick Bostrom, leading AI thinker, defines it as “an intellect that is much smarter than the best human brains in practically every field, including scientific creativity, general wisdom and social skills.” Imagine that.

With a better understanding of the wide range of both capabilities and types of AI, let’s now look at AI development and what role you can play in the advance of this technology.

How to get started with AI Development

For anyone who is hoping to get into AI development themselves, there is a certain level of knowledge that must come first. Obviously establishing these complex systems will require an understanding of computer code and programming languages, as well as an analytical mind. However, the most important aspect of AI development is simply having a problem worth solving.

AI, if nothing else, gives humans the ability to solve problems with greater efficiency and accuracy than ever before. When you first are getting started, simply write out a problem and then come up with a solution. Over time, you will review these steps until you establish the most efficient manner of solving the problem.

You will then turn that into code that a computer can follow. This will be the foundation of your first AI. By adding to this with other routes of problem solving, you can begin to evolve your process beyond simple Machine Learning and into Neural Networks and Deep Learning. It all starts with a simple idea. Focus on this first, and the rest will come with time and hard work.

Now get after it!