A Brief Introduction to Artificial Intelligence

The first thing that may come to mind when considering artificial intelligence may be the idea of machines that are just as intelligent as humans or may be near indistinguishable from human minds. Artificial intelligence does include such study, as well as the more philosophical ideas of what the implications of a ‘thinking machine’ would be, AI also encompasses a much broader area of development. Artificial intelligence includes software such as rules based systems, predictive analytics and pattern recognition.  

What is artificial intelligence?

A phrase frequently used in discussion of AI is ‘machine learning’. For those who are unfamiliar with this term, machine learning refers to systems that have the ability to automatically learn and improve from experience. All machine learning is AI, but not all AI is machine learning.

What Al is not: It’s not human-like robots or hardware in general — how something looks has nothing to do with whether or not something is AI! Software does not even need to be imitating human interactions in order to be considered artificial intelligence. 

Examples of Al used in everyday activities

  • Automated spam filters in emails Machine learning used for predicted wait times on delivery / driver arrival used on a variety of apps — e.g. Uber, lyft and Uber Eats
  • Commercial flights use Al autopilots Personalised recommendations — such as shopping recommendations used by Amazon, music recommendations by Spotify etc.
  • Security uses, such as Fraud detection/prevention software 

“You are almost certainly making use of AI in your day to day tasks without even realising it!”

Realistic uses of AI in business

Thanks to the integration of artificial intelligence in a number of every day uses, you are almost certainly making use of AI in your day to day tasks without even realising it! With greater knowledge of the Unless you intend to focus your business in the area of developing AI or incorporating machine learning on a large scale into your products, you probably don’t need to worry too much about exactly how it works.

For most businesses, artificial intelligence is a useful tool that comes in a number of forms and is a standard part of numerous types of software. It’s something that can be used to make life easier, and business processes more secure. 

Find Out More

If you enjoyed this briefing paper, check out our other digital resources which cover a wide range of topics, including quantum computing, social media, and 3D printing.

The Lancashire Cyber Foundry runs a series of business strategy and cyber workshops specifically designed for SMEs in Lancashire. We’re passionate about seeing Lancashire business become more cyber-aware and innovative and so offer funded places for companies to come and learn how to defend, innovate and grow their business. Additionally, we have an experienced technical team ready to help you with your business innovation ideas, particularly around cyber and digital innovation.

To find out more about how your business can access support or register on one of upcoming workshops, contact us: 

About the Author

Georgia Soden

Georgia is an Analyst Developer working for Lancashire Cyber Foundry. A strong interest in computing led to a career in the subject. With several years of experience as a Software Developer in a commercial environment, Georgia now works to provide support to businesses through research and development for technical projects. 

Interested? Email us

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the latest updates on news and events from the Lancashire Cyber Foundry team.

By filling in this form you register for our e-newsletter, which will help explain the programme and how we could benefit your business. Registering does not place you under any obligation, and you can unsubscribe from communications at any time using the unsubscribe link at the bottom of our newsletters. Lancaster University will hold and use the information which you supply in line with our privacy policy.

Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.