August 3, 2023 Knowledge Center

The ABCs of Artificial Intelligence: SUCCESS’s Guide to AI Terminology

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Let’s be real. Although rapidly becoming more prevalent as it continues to evolve, artificial intelligence is still largely a mystery to most people. In order to help make AI easier and more manageable to understand, we’ve outlined some key terms and definitions you should know to feel more comfortable navigating the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning tools. 

AI Essentials 

Let’s start with the basics. What exactly is artificial intelligence and what exactly is machine learning? Is there even a difference? 

Artificial Intelligence (AI): Artificial Intelligence is the development of computer systems that can perform tasks typically requiring human intelligence, such as understanding natural language, recognizing images, making decisions, and learning from experience.     

Machine Learning: Machine learning is a subfield of artificial intelligence that gives computer systems the ability to learn without being explicitly told to do so. Instead, machine learning algorithms use patterns and insights from entered data to make predictions or decisions and/or take actions. 

Types of AI 

Digging deeper, there are different types of AI, and it’s important to understand them to use the tools at your disposal effectively. The three types we’ll focus on are Generative, Predictive, and Generic: 

Generative: Generative AI algorithms are designed to create new content, data, or information based on a provided dataset, rather than just making predictions based on or interpreting what already exists. Generative AI applications can be used to: 

  • Generate Images 
  • Generate Text 
  • Compose Music 
  • Synthesize Videos 
  • Augment Data 

Predictive: Predictive AI is the application of artificial intelligence techniques to forecast future outcomes or events based on past data and patterns, like when your email suggests how to complete a sentence.   

Generic: Generic AI refers to artificial intelligence models that are trained on diverse and broad datasets but lack specialized knowledge or context for the specific data they encounter. While generic AI can be versatile and applicable to various scenarios and industries, it may struggle to comprehend intricate details or offer significant insights in particular situations. 

AI Use Cases  

AI applications also fall into a number of categories for their specific use cases, such as autonomously, industry-based, or application-based: 

Autonomous: Autonomous AI is an artificial intelligence system with the ability to perceive an environment, analyze data, learn from experience, and take actions to achieve goals without direct instructions from humans. Copilot, the AI tool being developed by Microsoft, will ultimately operate autonomously by integrating with applications in the M365 ecosystem. 

Industry-based: Industry-based AI is the application of artificial intelligence solutions to address specific challenges, optimize processes, and tailor unique solutions for a particular business sector or vertical, such as: 

  • Healthcare, where AI tools can analyze medical images, diagnose diseases, personalize treatment plans, and predict patient outcomes. 
  • Finance, where AI algorithms can help detect fraud and perform credit risk assessments, algorithmic trading, and customer service through chatbots. 
  • Manufacturing, where AI-driven solutions can optimize production processes, predictive maintenance, quality control, and supply chain management. 
  • Legal, where AI applications can research and analyze, review contracts and documents, and complete due diligence. 
  • Non-profits, where AI can evaluate programs and assist with resource allocation, fundraising, and donor engagement. 

Application-based: Application-based AI consists of tools designed for specific purposes or practical scenarios to solve particular problems or address certain challenges. These tools are applicable to a wide range of industries and sectors. 

Navigate the Era of Artificial Intelligence 

We know that attempting to understand the emergence of artificial intelligence and its potential implications can be a challenge. We want to help make it easier. Register for our upcoming seminar, “AI Uncovered: Navigating the Era of Artificial Intelligence” for a further explanation of the different types of AI, guiding principles for implementation and adoption, and demonstrations of potential use cases at your business.