What is … Artificial intelligence?

About this video

No matter the system, artificial intelligence is very likely helping people and machines make decisions that affect our everyday lives. From finding a cab, to picking a movie, to purchasing socks online – AI is there. This video explains just what AI is.

If you want to learn more about building AI apps, check out the tutorials, code patterns, datasets, models and more on the Artificial Intelligence hub on IBM Developer.

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Transcript of this video

Hello, I’m Sean, back to answer another “what is…” question.

This time today, we’re going to be answering the question “What is Artificial Intelligence?” Possibly the question of our time!

At it’s simplest, AI is the name we give to computer programs which are simulating human intelligence.

Computers are really good at following the instructions we give them – sometimes to a fault. But some problems, like understanding human speech, or recognizing objects in images or videos, is a tough ask for a computer programmer to put together.

There are so many data points and variations to consider when we try to do something like finding all the cats in a photo that it it would take forever for a coder to define all the possibilities and variables to achieve the desired outcome. And, even if someone did spend all that time putting something together, it probably wouldn’t be very good.

This is where AI can come in. Instead of writing software that tells the computer what to do, we can write computer programs that can learn to give an expected output for a given input.

So, for example, if I have a big data set of images made up of cats and not cats, I can show the images to the AI saying “This is a cat” and “This is not a cat”. If I have the right kind of AI, and the right kind of data set, after we’ve shown enough of these images to the AI, it should be able to tell the two apart when it’s shown something it hasn’t seen before.

But I hear you ask, “Sean, How do I know if I have the right kind of AI?”

Well, that’s a question for another video.