Have you ever seen an assembly line robot at a manufacturing facility that intelligently removes faulty products, for example some kind of food item or an automobile part, from being intermingled with those marked as healthy items. If yes, then you have witnessed Artificial Intelligence being applied in real life problem solving. Most of the people think that artificial intelligence is something beyond human intelligence and systems which employ artificial intelligence perform some magic to solve problems, certainly it is not true, as artificial intelligence and neural networks are based on the human’s thought processes developed in the form of computer programs and machines through an extensive experimentation on human brain.
In a broader view AI is the computational models carved in the form of programs in such a way that they behave like humans. Since Humans have intelligence so models which exhibit such kind of intellect must be AI. For example consider a program designed in such way that it can play chess just like people play. The science behind writing such kind of algorithms is the implementation of the ideas and knowledge that people use while playing chess. The constraints involved in writing such kind of algorithms render the subject of AI a bit complex and neuroscientists have to examine brain activity thoroughly as the ultimate goal is to bring up the systems which can think the way human think and which can take rational decisions the way people do.
How to do that? This question can be answered in millions of ways but the most appropriate answer is that if scientists want to develop a human brain like stuff, they must first study the human brain composition to determine what makes brain a brain and the researchers have proclaimed that the working entity is known as neuron which communicates with the brain and manages the information transmission and reception system. The field of science that deals with brain modeling is known as cognitive neuroscience. The interconnections of neurons for different purposes such as intelligent and rational decision making are enacted in the form of an algorithm providing the memory required to recall and add more experiences to be used next time to handle the complex situation like a human brain.
How does it solve the problems like humans? Just consider the problem of integrating a complex mathematical expression. Usual approach adopted by a mathematician will be to break the problem into smaller and easy to handle pieces of problems and then adding the effect of each single smaller problem to the overall result to get a final solution. AI works the same way, the problem is first torn to subcomponents, then finding the solution to each component from lookup tables fed into its memory and then finding the overall result. As a concluding argument it can now be said that an AI program is self sufficient in cognitive skills aided by vision and memory to analyze a situation.
How AI is helping us? stating about the traditional work performed in the field of AI there are applications that AI researchers might not consider as AI but it’s necessary to mention here because this is how AI evolved. For example a code compiler might not look like an AI program at first glance but certainly it is AI as it understands the high level language written in the form of code and performs jobs demanded by the programmer. There are all types of applications of AI, as a modern life example AI is performing supervision for NASDAQ, the stock exchange, VISA card uses some mechanism to filter out the fraudulent transaction if some intruder tries to, NASA is using AI in managing its space exploration programs as getting a space craft ready to leave earth atmosphere, perform mission and then coming back requires a very precise level of sequencing of all the steps and is being done by the AI.
Any kind of software or hardware involved in performing the desired job is known as an AI agent it can be a software program, a robot, a web application or a traffic monitoring system that gathers information and automates the processes. Such kind of AI agents are now exponentially increasing as the mankind is shifting from manual systems to the fully autonomous systems as I mentioned in the start about an assembly line robot that removes the defected items. It has proven itself as a substitute for manpower because now intelligent machines can take care of everything and with a lesser chance of mistake. At first place AI has made lives easier but from another perspective, it has groomed the rate of unemployment too.