What Exactly is Artificial Intelligence? Understanding the Risks and Benefits for Your Business
We have reached an ‘inflection point’ in artificial intelligence, as indicated by the 2023 Data and AI Trends Report published by Google. In summary, this means we are at a turning point, where the decisions made by companies can completely change the direction they are heading.
The research estimates that by 2025, at least 90% of new corporate application releases will include functionalities that incorporate AI.
But what exactly is artificial intelligence? How does it apply to your business? Is it really as powerful, or as dangerous as they say? Let’s explain.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
In the past, we had an idea of artificial intelligence — partly built by movies — as something revolutionary: robots that perform everyday tasks independently, communicate like humans, and even learn to think.
Today, it is more commonly understood that AI is not necessarily a machine.
As the name suggests, it is a branch of computer science that deals with the development of automatic and fictitious, or non-natural, reasoning.
Simply put, its objective is to enable machines to perform activities that require characteristics of human intelligence, such as learning, reasoning, pattern recognition, understanding natural language, and decision making.
It is directly linked to machine learning.
From there, AI can take various forms, being coupled with other existing tools to make them intelligent.
In corporate environments, it is already capable of performing everyday tasks, but not as imagined by movies, like a robot that makes and serves coffee.
It acts, for example, in processing large volumes of data to execute processes that simulate human intelligence through algorithms written by data scientists, something indispensable for competitive companies in today’s world.
Benefits and Risks of Artificial Intelligence for Business
Explore some of the advantages and challenges that this new technological resource can bring to your business, both now and in the future.
Benefit: Enhanced Data Analytics
Another important point from the Data and AI Trends Report is that 77% of organizations today are looking for improvements in the ability to process and classify data, as well as keep it secure and with the proper privacy controls.
Within this trend, one of the advantages of artificial intelligence is the automation of data analytics.
AI is capable of processing exorbitant amounts of information, which would be impossible to assimilate with human intelligence alone.
Through this process, it uses statistical methods to identify patterns and accurately find information.
Benefit: Process Automation
Another advantage of artificial intelligence is the potential to automate repetitive tasks, giving more agility to processes and significantly improving the team’s time utilization.
In addition, with more efficient operational functioning, the company guarantees better delivery and, consequently, more satisfied customers.
Risk: Cyber Attacks
When discussing the dangers of AI, the first point of concern is data security.
After all, the more dependent we are on software and virtual technologies, the greater the damage caused by a possible attack.
This risk, however, is mitigated by the various forms of security that exist today — backups, encryption, access authentication, among others.
Risk: Algorithmic Bias
Another risk, which does not yet have such a satisfactory solution, is algorithmic bias or algorithmic discrimination. But how does this happen?
Artificial intelligence is programmed with the information that is inserted in its construction. It receives inputs and executes functions based on pre-programmed commands.
Over time, the machine learns through the crossing of information and begins to refine responses.
What happens is that, despite the learning, AI does not have notions of ethics and morals, is not filtered by the norms of society, as happens with human behavior.
In this way, it can work in a discriminatory manner and offer responses that are, for example, racist. Scientists believe, however, that this problem will be solved soon.
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