The term artificial intelligence is thrown around a great deal in the modern world, used in conjunction with everything from video games, to advanced motor vehicles. But many don’t fully understand what exactly artificial intelligence really is, and how it works. Possibly due to the influence of films and books, many seem to think that artificial intelligence relates in some way to computers thinking. But this isn’t true at all.

In reality artificial intelligence is simply a set of instructions that are run through, in one fashion or another. The system is limited in how it can function, and in fact artificial intelligence is probably a great deal more restricted than many assume. It can’t help you win in visa slots, nor can it take your job or replace your housekeeper entirely. Let’s take a closer look at artificial intelligence, and understand more about it.

How Does Artificial Intelligence Work?

In it’s most simple form, artificial intelligence can be seen as a flow chart. The most basic command in an artificial intelligence structure normally reads: “In the case of X, proceed to Y.” No decision is made by a computer, the list of commands simply flows off according to the present circumstances. The whole system is entirely static, and will only function based on what is present in the list of commands.

A person can think of an artificial intelligence system as writing a list of commands for another person to follow, but having the list of commands branch out in case of unforeseen circumstances that might be involved in the task. For example; “In order to make coffee you will need to put coffee and sugar in a mug. If there is no sugar, you will have to go to a shop and buy sugar. In this case, follow the instructions on how to go to the shops and buy sugar.”

Is Artificial Intelligence Dangerous?

Again, due to the influence of movies and books, many assume that artificial intelligence can in some way be dangerous. The truth is, however, that artificial intelligence cannot do anything that it has not be programmed to do. In other words, artificial intelligence could not enslave the human race, unless a programmer at some point specifically put the option into the system. In this case, one could simply say that the programmer who gave the option was extremely stupid. Artificial intelligence isn’t dangerous at all, unless the people making it allow it to be.

Advanced Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence can be implemented into a number of different systems, allowing for them to work in conjunction. In modern vehicles, for example, artificial intelligence can be used to assist a driver have a safer journey. When combined with sensors, artificial intelligence can be made to automatically stop a car before it crashes, which is extremely useful and even essential. The artificial intelligence system would have been programmed to use the vehicle’s brakes, if it was detected that a crash was imminent. In other words; “If stationary object is within X distance from car, and speed is Y, apply breaks.”

It is this advanced use of artificial intelligence that is most promising, and likely to yield the most useful results. How artificial intelligence is implemented in the future remains to be seen, but will undoubtedly help in many everyday situations.

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