INNOVATION

Understanding Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Every day, a large portion of the population is at the mercy of rising technology, yet few actually understand what it is. Artificial intelligence. You know, HAL 9000 and Marvin the Paranoid Android? Thanks to books and movies, each generation has formed its own fantasy of a world ruled — or at least served —...

Last updated: 12 Aug 2021 - 5 mins read

Robin Creative Director

AI vacuum cleaner controlled on an Iphone X

CONTENTS

Every day, a large portion of the population is at the mercy of rising technology, yet few actually understand what it is. Artificial intelligence. You know, HAL 9000 and Marvin the Paranoid Android? Thanks to books and movies, each generation has formed its own fantasy of a world ruled — or at least served — by robots. We’ve been conditioned to expect flying cars that steer clear of traffic and robotic maids whipping up our weekday dinner.

But if the age of AI is here, why don’t our lives look more like the Jetsons? Well, for starters, that’s a cartoon. And really, if you’ve ever browsed Netflix movie suggestions or told Alexa to order a pizza, you’re probably interacting with artificial intelligence more than you realize. And that’s kind of the point. AI is designed so you don’t realize there’s a computer calling the shots.

But that also makes understanding what AI is, and what it’s not, a little complicated. In basic terms, AI is a broad area of computer science that makes machines seem like they have human intelligence.

It’s not just learning the rules

So it’s not only programming a computer to drive a car by obeying traffic signals, but it’s when that program also learns to exhibit signs of human-like road rage. As intimidating as it may seem, this technology isn’t new. Actually, for the past half-a-century, it’s been an idea ahead of its time.

The term “artificial intelligence” was first coined back in 1956 by Dartmouth professor John McCarthy. He called together a group of computer scientists and mathematicians to see if machines could learn like a young child does, using trial and error to develop formal reasoning. The project proposal says they’ll figure out how to make machines “use language, form abstractions, and concepts, solve kinds of problems now reserved for humans, and improve themselves.” That was more than 60 years ago.

Since then, AI has remained for the most part in university classrooms and super secret labs. But that’s changing. Like all exponential curves, it’s hard to tell when a line that’s slowly ticking upwards is going to skyrocket. But during the past few years, a couple of factors have led to AI becoming the next “big” thing: First, huge amounts of data are being created every minute.

In fact, 90% of the world’s data has been generated in the past two years. And now thanks to advances in processing speeds, computers can actually make sense of all this information more quickly. Because of this, tech giants and venture capitalists have bought into AI and are infusing the market with cash and new applications. Very soon, AI will become a little less artificial, and a lot more intelligent. Now the question is: Should you brace yourself for yet another Terminator movie, live on your city streets?

Not exactly. In fact, stop thinking of robots. When it comes to AI, a robot is nothing more than the shell concealing what’s actually used to power the technology. That means AI can manifest itself in many different ways.

Let’s break down the options

First, you have your bots. They’re text-based and incredibly powerful, but they have limitations. Ask a weather bot for the forecast, and it will tell you it’s partly cloudy with a high of 57. But ask that same bot what time it is in Tokyo, and it’ll get a little confused. That’s because the bot’s creator only programmed it to give you the weather by pulling from a specific data source.

Natural language processing makes these bots a bit more sophisticated. When you ask Siri or Cortana where the closest gas station is, it’s really just translating your voice into text, feeding it to a search engine, and reading the answer back in human syntax. So in other words, you don’t have to speak in code. At the far end of the spectrum is machine learning, and honestly, it’s one of the most exciting areas of AI.

Just like a human

Like a human, a machine retains information and becomes smarter over time.

But unlike a human, it’s not susceptible to things like short-term memory loss, information overload, sleep deprivation, and distractions. But how do these machines actually learn? Well, while it may be easy for a human to know the difference between a cat and a dog, for a computer, not so much. You see, when you’re only considering physical appearance, the difference between cats and dogs can be a little gray.

You can say cats have pointed ears and dogs have floppy ears, but those rules aren’t universal.

Between tail length, fur texture, and color, there are a lot of options, and that means a lot of tedious rules someone would have to program manually to help a computer spot the difference. But remember — machine learning is about making machines learn like humans. And like any toddler, that means they have to learn by experience. With machine learning, programs analyze thousands of examples to build an algorithm. It then tweaks the algorithm based on if it achieves its goal.

Getting smarter and smarter

Over time, the program actually gets smarter. That’s how machines like IBM’s Watson can diagnose cancer, compose classical symphonies, or crush Ken Jennings at Jeopardy. Some programs even mimic the way the human brain is structured, complete with neural networks that help humans and now machines solve problems. Generations have long imagined the ramifications of AI, visualizing a society where machines seek revenge and wreak havoc on human society. However, the more logical and pressing question is: How will AI affect your job? Will it make your work obsolete? Just like the Industrial Revolution, it’s not human versus machine. It’s human and machine versus the problem. The point is that artificial intelligence helps you accomplish more in less time, taking on the repetitive tasks of your job while you master the strategy and relationships. That way, humans can do what they do best… be human.

SIGN UP FOR THE NEWSLETTER

    By signing up you agree with our privacy policy

    GET IN TOUCH

    To speak with us, call (+31) 613 326 179, send us an email, or reach out to us by chat or What’s App.

    THINKING

    Shopify Summer Editions ’23 – our favourites

    Imagine my Business – Imagine my Store – Imagine my Future This is the hook, Shopify introduces us to the Summer Editions ’23. One of the most powerful updates until now. There have been some changes in the digital world, which automatically affect the eCommerce industry – bringing a lot new opportunities to the field. Personalisation...

    Shopify’s one-page checkout

    By now, we’ve all heard of the Shopify Editions | Winter ’23 and the amazing upgrades that the eCommerce platform will be offering soon.  Shopify is one of the biggest players in the industry, holding a substantial market share in the United States and accounting for over $444 billion in global economic activity. The new...

    B2B with Shopify: Unlocking the Power of Business-to-Business Commerce

    In today’s digital age, eCommerce has revolutionised the way businesses operate and connect with their customers. Shopify, one of the leading eCommerce platforms, not only caters to direct-to-consumer (DTC) businesses but also provides robust features, which Shopify Plus merchants can utilise for business-to-business (B2B) transactions. This article explores the world of B2B on Shopify, its...

    Shopify Markets Pro: The Ultimate Solution for International eCommerce Businesses

    Are you looking to expand your eCommerce business and take over the international market? Yet the complexities of international transactions made you reconsider your decision? Shopify Markets Pro delivers an all-in-one solution that simplifies the process of selling globally. We’ll be showing you all the things you need to know about the new toolkit of...

    The logo of Klaviyo One, a comprehensive customer data platform (CDP) that revolutionises business growth and customer engagement.

    What is Klaviyo One?

    Klaviyo One is the all-in-one platform to grow your business. Klaviyo has always been a powerful email marketing tool, but with the release of Klaviyo One, they are now a complete customer data platform (CDP). This means that you can now manage all of your customer data in one place, and use it to drive...

    Various equipment such as camera are put on the white background

    Omnichannel versus Multichannel

    Omnichannel and multi-channel: what’s the difference? We’re going to be elaborating on the differences between omnichannel and multi-channel. So let’s jump straight into it! So let’s start off with a few definitions. The defintions First of all, when we speak about channels what we mean is a medium through which a brand is able to...

    Ship to and from Store – Shopify’s game changer for multibrand retailers

    Shopify continues to revolutionise the eCommerce landscape with its latest feature of Shopify POS, “Ship to & From Store.” This new functionality is set to redefine how multibrand retailers operate by allowing them to offer pick-up options from stores that do not necessarily have the product in stock. This advancement is particularly beneficial for retailers...

    Shopify and SRS: The Flatline Agency Custom connector

    Businesses need to stay ahead of the curve to meet customer expectations and streamline their operations. We’re committed to providing innovative solutions that empower businesses to achieve their goals. One of our standout offerings is our unique custom connector between SRS and Shopify, a chance for brands looking to enhance their online presence and operational...

    How to create a converting Google Shopping feed

    In eCommerce, getting your products in front of potential customers is crucial. Google Shopping is one of the most effective platforms to achieve this, but simply listing your products isn’t enough. You need to create a converting Google Shopping feed that not only attracts clicks but also drives sales. This comprehensive guide will walk you...

    Hubspot Commerce Hub – Scale your B2B Business

    Businesses need robust tools to manage their operations effectively and foster growth. HubSpot, a leader in customer relationship management (CRM) and inbound marketing, has long been celebrated for its B2C capabilities. However, recognising the growing needs of B2B enterprises, HubSpot has introduced a game-changing solution: the HubSpot Commerce Hub. Designed to streamline and enhance B2B...

    Framer vs. WordPress: A quick comparison

    Creating and managing a website today involves choosing the right platform that aligns with your needs and skills. Two popular choices are Framer and WordPress. Both have their strengths and target audiences, but which one is the right fit for you? Let’s dive into a quick comparison of Framer and WordPress, examining their features, ease...

    The Framer June Update 2024

    June has brought some amazing updates to our beloved design tool, and we couldn’t be more excited to share them with you. Whether you’re a developer or a user, these new features are designed to make your life easier and your projects more awesome. Let’s break down what’s new and how it can help you...

    Why TTI (Time To Interactive) matters for your website

    The speed and responsiveness of your website can be just as critical as the content it holds. A swift and seamless user experience is pivotal in capturing and retaining visitor interest. This is where Time to Interactive (TTI), a lesser-known but crucial performance metric, comes into play. TTI measures how long it takes for a...

    Scaling your business with Shopify in 2024

    Our favourite E-Commerce platform Shopify offers a brilliant blend of simplicity and potential for customisation that can help you grow efficiently and effectively. We are fans of using the power this platform gives us, so why shouldn’t you use it as well? To make it simple, we’ve merged the essence of scaling with Shopify into...

    HubSpot AI tools 2024

    Discover the HubSpot AI Tools in 2024

    In today’s fast-paced digital world, staying competitive means adopting the latest technologies, and one of these is undeniably Artificial Inteligence. HubSpot, a leader in CRM solutions, has seamlessly integrated AI into their platform to help businesses streamline operations and enhance customer interactions. These HubSpot AI powered tools are designed to boost efficiency, improve decision-making, and...

    Top email marketing flows for B2B & B2C

    Master Email Marketing Flows: Top Picks for B2C and B2B Success

    In the dynamic landscape of eCommerce, effective email marketing is essential. By leveraging the powerful tools offered by HubSpot and Klaviyo, you can create compelling, automated email flows that drive sales and nurture customer relationships, catering to both B2C and B2B audiences. We know it can be a tad bit overwhelming, but don’t worry. Flatline...

    This site is registered on wpml.org as a development site. Switch to a production site key to remove this banner.