The MBA Guide to IT

Episode 34 – What is artificial intelligence?

It’s Friday.  Let’s take a question.


“I keep hearing about AI.  What is it?  And will our robot overlords take over?”

That’s a good question.  At least the first part.

AI or Artificial Intelligence is something they’ve been hyping for years but until recently they never really had the compute power to do anything useful.  Now they do.

You can think of it as a new way to program a computer.  It mimics the way your brain works.

In conventional programming, the programmer sits down and thinks of all the different things the program should do.  You write down the steps and it executes them, sort of like a recipe.

In artificial intelligence, it’s all about pattern matching.  Let’s say you want to create a computer that can tell the difference between a cat and a dog.  You feed it a lot of pictures and tell it which one is a cat or a dog.  The more training patterns you feed it, the more accurate it becomes.  Later, when you feed it an unknown picture, it compares it to its training history and decides that it’s probably a cat, or probably a dog.

Notice I said probably because just like the human brain, these computers can make mistakes.

As to the second part of the question, “Will our robot overlords take over?”

Don’t worry about it.  Your current overlords will never be willing to share power.


I’m Carter Edmonds with 20Creek.  We solve IT challenges.

Episode #34 – 1/25/2019

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