Before we go further, we should first take a look at precisely what AI and machine learning actually are. These are two related but also distinct terms, which often get confused. Both will impact on marketing, but in different and unique ways.
AI then is artificial intelligence. That means software and hardware designed to act and appear intelligent. Such software is capable of making meaningful choices, and conducting activities that we would normally consider the remit of humans.
AI comes in two broad flavors. One is weak AI, which is also known as narrow AI. Weak AI is essentially a form of AI that is designed to perform a specific job. An example of this is the self-driving car. This form of AI is capable of knowing the positions of countless cars on the road, and being able to respond by steering, accelerating, breaking etc. If you were to watch a self-driving car from the outside, you might think a human were driving. In that way, it does a job that would normally be considered a human role.
BUT at the same time, you can’t speak with a self-driving car and you can’t ask it how it’s feeling. A self-driving car would certainly not pass the Turing Test!
Note: The Turing test is a test designed to measure the effectiveness of an AI. If you talk to an AI on a chat app, and you don’t know that it isn’t human, then it is considered to have “passed the Turing test.” Another example of weak AI is used when creating bad guys in computer games. These use programming in order to behave in a human-like manner, and to provide a challenge for the player. However, the code is only useful in the context of the video game, and so it’s not about to turn into Skynet any time soon!
Weak AI might not sound as exciting, but it is being used for a huge range of extremely exciting things – from helping to treat disease, to improving the economy. Conversely, the type of AI that we often see in science fiction, is what we know as “general AI.” This is AI that doesn’t have just one purpose, but that is designed to do everything that a human might be able