What is A.I. and How Does it Work?

In movies and books, artificial intelligence is usually depicted as evil robots and computers taking over the world. But in reality, it’s nothing like that at all. What really is A.I., you may ask? A.I. stands for artificial intelligence. The term was coined in 1956 at a conference at Dartmouth College. A.I. refers to any human-like intelligence that is done by your computer and other machines. Like humans, A.I. learns from examples and experiences. This gives them the ability to solve problems, make decisions, and a variety of other functions. 

In this article, you will learn what artificial intelligence is, the different types of artificial intelligence, examples of artificial intelligence in your everyday life, how it works, and why it is so important. Most importantly, you will learn you can use artificial intelligence to help your business. 

why does AI matter and how does it work

History of A.I.

Before getting into how A.I. works and the different types of A.I., here’s some brief history of A.I. and how it came to be here today: 

1943: Warren McCullough and Walter Pitts published “A Logical Calculus of Ideas Immanent Nervous Activity.”

1949: In Donald Hebb’s book The Organization of Behavior: A Neuropsychological Theory, the Hebbian learning method is developed. 

1950: Alan Turing published a ”Computing Machinery and Intelligence” proposing the idea that machines can think.

1952: Arthur Samuel was a computer scientist who developed checkers playing computer games.

1955: The official world of “artificial intelligence” was born.

1958: John McCarthy develops Lisp, a programming language for a.i research.

1963: John McCarthy started the first artificial intelligence program at Stanford University.

1969: The expert system DENDRAL is developed to diagnose blood infections.

1972: The creation of PROLOG

1973: The “Lighthill Report” expressed the disappointments in the research done on A.I this led to cuts to A.I projects.

1974: “The First A.I. Winter” because of the lack of process with A.I. research was stalled and there were no funds available.

After the “First A.I. Winter” things started to look up, Deep Blue was invented, Stanley the self-driving car and speech recognition was developed, and A.I. continues to develop today.

what is AI

Types of Artificial Intelligence 

Different Types of A.I. Based on Their Functionalities:

Reactive Machines 

Reactive machines are one of the more basic types of A.I. systems and one of the first stages to an A.I. system. These systems do not have the ability to form memories or use past experiences to make decisions. Reactive machines only react to existing situations, like IBM’s Deep Blue, a chess-playing computer.

Limited Memory

Limited memory means this machine can know by their past experiences because they are able to store data. For example, self-driving cars know when to switch lanes and stop at traffic lights because of the data they save on past experiences.

Theory of Mind

Theory of mind provides the ability to predict and interpret the behavior of others. Although this type of A.I. hasn’t been developed, it has been studied. If this A.I. is ever developed, it will have to understand the thoughts and feelings of others.


In the future, A.I wants to advance in building systems so they can form representations about themselves. We are far from creating these self aware A.I systems. First, we need to master being able to fully understand memory, and our own ability to learn about how we learn from our own past experiences. 

Different Types of A.I. Based on Their Capabilities: 

Narrow A.I 

Narrow A.I., also called weak A.I., can only focus on one small task and they can’t perform beyond the small task that they are assigned. It is designed to solve a problem and its main goal is to solve the problem it is commanded to do.

Types of Narrow A.I.

  • Siri, Alexa, and Cortana
  • IBM’s Waston 
  • Drone robots
  • Email spam filters

General A.I. 

General A.I., which sometimes goes by strong A.I., has the ability of learning human tasks. They also are able to use their knowledge and skills they have learned in different situations. 

Types of General A.I. 

  • Quantum computers

Super A.I.

Super A.I. is where A.I. can complete tasks better than humans could themselves. This concept of A.I. is that they can feel emotions, have needs, and desires. This kind of A.I. has not yet been developed. But it might be in the very near future! 

what is artificial intelligence

Examples of Artificial Intelligence

There are so many products and companies that use A.I. Many of these products are sitting at your home or office right now! They include devices you use daily, including Google searches, digital voice, assistant, and smart home devices. 


Have you ever wondered how Netflix comes up with your own personal recommendations? They do it with A.I. Netflix uses titles, phases, and your past viewing history to recommend shows and movies you may like. Netflix also uses artificial intelligence for auto-generation and personalization of thumbnails. They utilize thousands of video frames from a movie or a TV show for thumbnail generation. Netflix then uses these images to identify what you would most likely click on to watch.

Google Maps

This software helps you get to your destination, whether it’s a few minutes away or a trip across the country. Google Maps uses AI to monitor real time traffic and weather conditions to accurately give you an arrival time, or to offer you different alternative routes. 


When you browse a website like Amazon, you will see all kinds of recommendations pop up. For example, you might see something like: “We picked out these other items you might like!” Amazon delivers these recommendations by learning what you like and what products other people like you have purchased.


People use Siri and other digital voice assistants every day. They tell you the weather, assist you in answering a text message, or play you a song on command. These digital voice assistants use natural language processing and generators to answer your commands and assist you. 

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Even your favorite social media platforms use artificial intelligence. A.I helps filter your feed based on what types or posts you like based on your history. A.I also helps with who shows up in your friends’ suggestions. 

how does AI work

How Does A.I. Work?

Artificial intelligence works by combining data and processing algorithms, allowing software to be able to learn patterns in data and many applications go hand-and-hand with artificial Intelligence to make it function.

Machine learning

Machine learning is an application of A.I that provides computer systems with the ability to learn from past experiences without being programmed. It can analyze data and make predictions from it.

Deep learning

Deep Learning uses neural networks which are algorithms that mimic operations of the human brain to recognize relationships between data. With advances in computing power and training techniques, it allows learning patterns in large amounts of data.

Cognitive computing

Cognitive computing’s purpose is to improve interaction between us and machines. It seeks to mimic human processes, but in a computer model.


Natural Language Processing, which stands for NLP, allows computers to recognize and interpret. This gives computers the ability to communicate and produce speech.

Computer Vision

This allows the interpretation of an image by pattern identification and deep learning. Computer vision can intercept graphs, tables, and other documents. 

Why is Artificial Intelligence So Important?

Why is artificial intelligence so important? It is altering business, industries, everyday life as we speak! Artificial intelligence has the ability to collect data that can be used to drive marketing decisions and overall improve businesses. A.I has helped manage global supply chains to determine better delivery routes, increase productivity, to customer service.

Many bigger companies use artificial intelligence to their advantage to improve their businesses. Here are just some of them and there are many more companies that use A.I.!

  • IBM
  • Microsoft
  • Spotify
  • Under Armour

artificial intelligence

Artificial Intelligence Tools for Businesses

Artificial intelligence can help small businesses in all sorts of ways, from customer service to cybersecurity to helping you learn about your company’s customers. CRM software is one of the ways A.I. can help a business. CRM can learn about customers from their past orders. For example, if a customer frequently buys a product, CRM can send them emails or promotions about that certain product.

Cybersecurity is also another application of A.I. A.I. security can look for unusual activity and also spot other irregularities in systems like illegal activity. Need 24/7 customer service on your website? A.I can help with that. Artificial intelligence can help customers by anticipating what the customers need and deciding if they need human help. It also helps personally in the workplace. Artificial intelligence can do simple and tedious tasks for you, so you can use your valuable time in other areas. 

Reach out to SEO Design Chicago today if you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding using artificial intelligence in your business.

FAQs about Artificial Intelligence: 

  • What companies use artificial intelligence?
  • What are the advantages of artificial intelligence?
  • How did artificial become what it is today?
  • What is the purpose of artificial intelligence?
  • How can I use A.I. for my business?

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