Artificial Intelligence 101 — What you need to know

There is a lot of buzz surrounding the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the corporate world. While companies all over the world are investing heavily in its development, many people still don’t really understand what “it” actually is.

Let’s start with the definition… explains that Artificial Intelligence is “an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans.” AI is a highly specialized field, and the programmers that work on its development are often faced with abstract and complex problems as they figure out how to train computers to learn, reason, problem solve and plan.

When people think about AI, images of humanoid robots tend to come to mind. But AI is a broad field; robotics is a major and important component, yet one of the best aspects of AI is that it doesn’t need to exist in any particular form at all. Its habitat is the internet, and it can connect to (and interact with) people on any device they choose. The question really is, how valuable is it? What impact will AI have on existing businesses, and is it possible to develop and build AI in a responsible and transparent way?

The Value of AI

Research carried out by PwC gives a numeric value to the impact of AI on the world economy. By 2030, they predict that AI will have a staggering net positive impact of 14% (equivalent to $15.7 Trillion USD).

China’s rise in Cybernetics

While North America will initially adopt and grow AI technology, PwC believes that China will catch up by 2025, stimulating exports of AI-enabled products to the rest of the world. By 2030, this rapid growth will make China the global leader in Cybernetics by 2030.

Industries that will benefit most from AI

AI will not only increase productivity but will also improve product quality and increase consumption in the retail, banking and healthcare services. Productivity gains will be derived from businesses automating processes and augmenting their existing labor force with AI technology.

Will AI kill jobs?

One of the biggest fears surrounding AI is the risk it poses to jobs. AI will save companies plenty over the long run, but the increase in efficiency it promises through automation, will come at the expense of jobs. Nonetheless, the advantages and the economic value of AI outweighs the controversies surrounding the technology.

Can AI be developed in a responsible and transparent way?

There is no denying the fact that as AI becomes more sophisticated, it also becomes more opaque. Regulators around the world are debating the effects of AI and how it can be made more transparent. While different countries will each have a different approach towards regulating the deployment of AI, they also need to ensure that regulations do not hamper innovation and research.


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