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    How Does AI Work? The Technology, Tools, and Applications

    By Roger Banks

    While all organisms exhibit some degree of intelligence, humans have distinguished themselves as the apex species because of an unparalleled show of intelligence. Many people have studied the human brain for its complexities and advanced processes, with each research offering newer depths into how we think. However, it seems that artificial intelligence (AI) has now caught our fascination. So, what is AI and how does it work?


    how does ai improve itself

    What Is AI?

    You may think of artificial intelligence as the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems. It is a set of programs designed to imitate human capabilities like problem-solving and decision-making using technology.


    Astonishingly, not only does artificial intelligence mimic human behavior, but advanced technologies also allow it to improve upon certain human abilities. From simply making work faster and easier, one can see increased sophistication in modern-day computing systems, with AI finding its way into desktops, laptops, and mobile phones alike.


    How Does AI Work?

    Simply speaking, AI developers teach machines to mimic human learning processes. With more information, their knowledge and capabilities develop. However, unlike how you teach a child, computers rely more on deep learning technologies like natural language processing (NLP), natural language understanding (NLU), and other algorithmic training.


    Through these methods, machines can process large amounts of data and learn patterns from the analysis. For instance, if you feed examples of text conversations to a chatbot, it can simulate lifelike exchanges between people.

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    Cognitive Functions

    When it comes to how AI works, you need to understand that it covers three cognitive functions. These include:

    • Learning. This first aspect focuses on acquiring data for a machine to learn and teaching it how to analyze the data. The step-by-step instructions provide an algorithm for the machine to process the data into actionable intelligence.
    • Reasoning. The second phase deals with how machines convert information into desired results. How do smart assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant accurately respond to questions and other instructions in general? This is largely because of algorithms and how they dictate the behavior of smart technologies.
    • Self-correction. This iterative feature of AI programming focuses on continuous algorithm optimization and ensuring better accuracy. How does AI improve itself? Just as people can grow in understanding, AI allows computing devices to expand their knowledge and improve their functionality through machine learning. Each time an AI system processes data, it evaluates its own performance and makes necessary improvements.


    What Is Driving the Growth of AI?

    Thanks to a host of scientific advancements, AI technology has improved significantly over the last few years. Here are the top factors that have enhanced the functionality of different AI-based systems.


    Larger Data Sets

    AI thrives on data and thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT) and growing data sets, machines can now access more information to expand their capabilities. Big data and artificial intelligence have developed a relationship of codependency and mutual benefits. AI is useless without data, and analyzing huge amounts of data is insurmountable without AI. As interconnectivity improves and more information continues to find its way online, AI systems continue to build on their expertise.


    Advanced Data Analytics

    Access to large sets of data is important for AI advancements. However, all that data would be useless without a powerful medium for filtering it into meaningful information. Processing massive amounts of data requires in-depth analysis and progress in this area has helped polish the algorithms that dictate AI operations.


    How AI technology works in this regard is that newer and better algorithms allow smart machines to analyze data faster, and often, simultaneously. By empowering AI to process data sets more efficiently, advanced analytics technologies allow machines to better understand complex systems and improve result accuracy.


    what is ai and how does it work

    Optimized Graphical Processing Systems

    Graphical processing units (GPUs) are one of the key facilitators of AI’s rising value. While the original purpose of GPUs is to improve computer graphics, they can also improve AI networks since they rely on linear algebra computations. GPUs speed up computational processes for AI by enabling it to perform millions of calculations in little time. In a sense, they fuel the advanced analytics needed in AI to process and interpret big data.


    Application Processing Interfaces

    Application processing interfaces (APIs) are powerful technological tools in the software development sphere. An artificial intelligence API enables developers to add AI features to traditional computer programs and software, consequently enhancing their ability to identify and understand complex data patterns. A good example is the face recognition technology that comes with most modern-day smartphones. Many applications, particularly FinTech apps, also utilize this technology.


    How to Create a Chatbot Using AI

    AI chatbots are one of the most interesting aspects of modern digital technology. From helping you place an order to offering assistance on complex web navigation issues, they can do a lot. Additionally, advanced AI chatbots feel human-like with their sophisticated interactions. They are definitely powerful tools that enhance user experience (UX).


    With their versatility and level of sophistication, some might assume that AI chatbots are overly complex. However, to create an AI chatbot, you need a basic understanding of how they work and good software.


    Like all AI systems, chatbots receive input which they translate into relevant output. They need to be trained with tons of conversational data to understand the context of various queries. Consequently, chatbots can analyze a person’s words and determine the most suitable responses.


    Building an AI chatbot involves two main phases; the preliminary stage of outlining possible conversations and the technical process of developing the chatbot.


    Conversation Design

    This phase involves mapping out all possible interactions in which your chatbot can engage. The key to mastering this phase is to first determine the purpose of your chatbot and what your audience will want. You also need to look at other aspects like the type of assistance it will provide, the kind of questions audiences will need answers to, and the points where it becomes necessary to redirect users to a live agent. Here is how you design conversations for an AI chatbot.

    • Flow. This refers to all possible channels a conversation can take. The flow map is the foundation for conversation scripting. It shows you the likely directions that user interactions might take. Neglecting this stage could lead to dead ends in communication and consequently sabotage the user experience. You can map out the conversation flow with diagramming or mind-mapping tools like GitMind, Taskade AI Mind Map Generator, and Ayoa.
    • Context and intent. An intelligent chatbot analyzes user queries by breaking them down into context and intent. It must understand the conditions and objectives surrounding user statements before it can accurately respond. It also picks up on keywords (entities) on the topic of conversation to better understand the interaction.
    • Scripting. After mapping out possible conversations and establishing how to process them, delivery is next. Since chatbots are for human interactions, they need relatable personas. Scripting involves teaching your chatbot how to respond to users. Friendly or formal? Talkative or curt? It is important to make these decisions with the user in mind because they determine how your audience perceives your bot.

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    Chatbot Development

    This phase involves choosing from the available software (platforms or frameworks) to build the bot itself. Chatbot development platforms help non-developers to create chatbots easily. Depending on the platform you use, your chatbot can either be simple with canned responses, or advanced with more NLP and NLU functionality. Developers may turn to some frameworks to build their chatbots using various programming languages. Here are a few platforms for non-developers.

    • Chatfuel. Chatfuel is a popular choice for bots on Facebook. It collects and retains user information for predicting different conversation paths. It is also versatile and can handle a variety of content.
    • Botsify. Botsify supports simple interfaces and finds common use in messenger bots. It stands out for its machine learning feature which enables it to fine-tune its capabilities over time.
    • Pandorabots. Pandorabots is a more sophisticated platform so it’s helpful to have some programming experience. However, with patience and determination, you can build an advanced chatbot on it without prior programming knowledge.


    Here are some of the frameworks that developers may use to build chatbots.

    • Dialogflow. Owned by Google, it leverages the search engine’s vast data network to aid the conversation design process. Additionally, it works well for both voice and text-based chatbots. Dialogflow also supports multiple languages.
    • Amazon Lex. The platform uses the existing AI capabilities of Alexa and is a powerful tool for analyzing user intent. Like Dialogflow, Amazon Lex supports multiple languages too.
    • IBM Watson Assistant. You may use this platform to build a variety of chatbots because of its multiple AI technologies like NLP, sentiment analysis, and voice recognition.


    Similar to cloud services, major tech companies offer their own frameworks. Your choice significantly depends on the ecosystem you prefer.



    The final phase of building your chatbot is testing. Ideally, you should determine its level of success before presenting it to users. Based on what you find, you may either make minor adjustments or go back to the drawing board altogether. You can use testing tools like Botium, Testsigma, and Botpress for this final step.



    While AI may conjure up the idea of advanced technologies that are mostly out of reach, it is more involved in everyday life than most people think. From simple to complex, it has penetrated our everyday use of technology and is constantly gaining more ground. How artificial intelligence works notwithstanding, you can be sure that it will affect your business in some form or the other in the time to come.


    Even the web design world is waking up to what artificial intelligence has to offer, and you stand to benefit greatly by looking at how AI works in building websites and mobile apps. If you need to incorporate AI into your website/app, partnering with a web design agency might be in your best interest. It would augment the user experience for your consumers and help drive business growth.

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