Artificial Intelligence. Machine Learning. Is it just us, or do those words sound like Robots Rising? That’s what our backend developer Rodrigo Leote used to think Artificial Intelligence (AI) was – until he took an AI course in college, that is.

“Before I got into college and really doing AI,” Rodrigo said, “I used to think like, ‘We’ll have robots taking control of everything! We are done!’ I used to think like that. But I kind of got disappointed when I did an [AI] course in college.”

While that course was eye opening and motivated him to learn as much as possible about AI, he says he was pretty disappointed that robots weren’t going to be roaming our streets anytime soon. Today, we chatted with Rodrigo about AI, what it is, what it can do for your company, and what the future holds.


What is AI?

Artificial intelligence, Rodrigo says, is about making life easier for humans and for computers.

“Basically, AI, you kind of have some methods to make it easier for the computer to assume stuff based on previous evidence,” Rodrigo said, “at least that’s how I see machine learning happening. For example, if you are [building AI], you really need to train the machine.”

AI is not those sci-fi robots we all imagine or see in the movies. It’s not magic – it’s software that has to be programmed and carefully trained. It’s still very much under the developer’s control and can’t go all rogue on you.

Developers train the machine to recognize patterns that will then help it make decisions. They present different scenarios to the software which then evaluates the scenario and makes an educated guess. Once it makes its decision, the developer then tells the software the correct answer. If the computer got it wrong, it adjusts its patterns and learns as it goes. The more training it has, the more precisely it can guess.

The whole point of AI is to make life and business simpler. Computers can do some kinds of work much more efficiently, cost effectively and with fewer errors than we can, and that’s a good thing! It frees us up to do more complex tasks while the computer does the boring stuff.

“Knowing that a specific image is a dog, for example,” Rodrigo said, “this is simple, but you can start applying it to more complex stuff – that’s where I think AI shines. When you can have a computer doing something where you would need people to guess or people to find stuff, you can have a computer do it [faster].


What will it do for my business?

Rodrigo says that AI can be used in almost any part of your business. One major place is marketing. Software can collect data from your various marketing channels, like Facebook or Twitter, and analyze that data. Then, based on what it finds, it can make suggestions for what’s working and what’s not.

Another area is sales. An AI software program can analyze current trends in your sales cycle and give you deeper insight into ways to make your sales more effective.

“AI can make decisions for you based on trends, that’s something that AI can do,” Rodrigo said. “Maybe it can collect data from social media and based on social media it can help our customers make a decision on what to do next regarding business stuff. . . . Of course, it all depends on the customer.”


AI is the future.

The future isn’t a mass takeover of human-like robots (or if it is, it’s a long ways down the road), but Rodrigo believes AI is the future of programming. Every programmer will need to know how to develop AI-based systems.

“I believe AI is going to be the basis of programming,” Rodrigo said. “I think we’re going to come to a future where every programmer will have to know AI to make software more efficient.”

Want to learn about types of AI software PoaTek can build? Get in touch today!