What even is AI? We get this question a lot from clients who may have heard the hype, but still picture robots or self-driving cars. How could these things possibly help grow a business? While these technologies certainly might use Artificial Intelligence, AI refers to a host of programming techniques which allow applications to change or adapt to a task, without ongoing intervention from the programmer. These types of programs excel at identifying complex patterns that might be hard for people to describe.

Google AI expert François Chollet sums it up succinctly this way

So how does the program identify patterns? That’s where data comes in. The game is all about associating your data, itself a group of signals, with a label, an outcome, or some score. An AI program looks at the data, looks at an outcome, and develops a model to predict that outcome based on the data. For example, using taste test results and a list of ingredients, a program could develop rules that say, “Tasty cakes generally contain lots of sugar and butter but not too much salt,” without ever having tasted a single cake!