2019 is working up to be the year of artificial intelligence. But half of us don’t actually know what AI is.

AI will be the future of industry, and right now it’s an industry that a lot of people don’t understand. We’re familiar with the portrayals of evil AI and hyper-intelligent robots. Fortunately, that’s not exactly the reality.

AI can do anything from write articles to analyse data. It’s versatile. It’s intelligent. However, when you type ‘artificial intelligence’ into Google, you’re met with confusion: its meaning, examples, its definition. ‘What is artificial intelligence?’ produces an immense 334 million results.

In the headlines

If you’ve read a few articles on AI recently, this isn’t exactly a surprise. AI is dominating mainstream technology news. According to Gartner, 40% of I&O teams will use AI-augmented automation in large enterprises by 2023. That’s big. So, people are writing about it.

These articles usually ask several questions: what’s AI’s place in our society? Is it safe? Secure? Or is it too intelligent?

Artificial intelligence finds patterns in information and learns based upon that. In its current state, AI can only learn from us and from our data. Machine learning, a subset of AI, learns over time without human intervention. Both will be integral for future industry. AI ultimately looks at a situation and works out the best course of action. Another term you might be familiar with is ‘cognitive computing’. This is a branch of AI which seeks to mimic human intelligence.

AI can be combined with automation, quantum computing, IoT and even blockchain to ensure security and efficiency. It’s complex. And it’s already in our lives.

However, rarely does ‘here’s exactly what AI is,’ monopolise headlines. According to an Oxford University report, only 63% of those interviewed believe that intelligent assistants use AI. Similarly, many did not realise that Google Translate, Netflix recommendations or driverless cars are all examples of AI.

It’s not stating the obvious

Nobody can blame you if you weren’t aware that these were all representations of AI. Certainly, many companies who use AI in their business processes don’t actually advertise it.

The problem is most of us have no clue what constitutes ‘AI’. Really, AI includes any program that learns, and acts, based on experience and data. It’s that simple. You might be worried about AI taking over the world, but the reality is, if it’s even possible, human-intelligent AIs are far off. It certainly isn’t reason to stop the progress of AI in industry. The benefits of AI to society surpass most people’s distrust.

Plus, if you’re worried about AI taking your job, there’s some good news. AI isn’t currently in a state to replace human intelligence. So, while it might complement it, it won’t substitute it entirely.

Not as intimidating as it seems

In its current state, AI is in prime position to help technologies, rather than hinder them or pose a threat. It can sort through data and do jobs that would be too much – and too boring – for humans to do.

Like other new technologies, like blockchain and quantum computing, AI requires time to comprehend and to grow.

At Blockhead, we’re using blockchain-backed technology to make supply chains better. Find out how here.