A Deeper Understanding of Artificial Intelligence: Examples and Applications
The artificial intelligence market was estimated to be worth $136 billion in 2022, with projections of up to $1,800 billion by the end of the decade. More than a third of companies today implement AI in their business processes, and over 40% will consider doing so in the future.
These whopping numbers testify to the importance, prevalence, and reality of AI in the modern world. If you’re considering an education in AI, you’re looking at a highly rewarding and prosperous future career. But what are the applications of artificial intelligence, and how did it all begin? Let’s start from scratch.
What Is Artificial Intelligence?
Artificial intelligence definition describes AI as a part of computer science that focuses on building programs and software with human intelligence. There are four types of artificial intelligence: the theory of mind, reactive, self-aware, and limited memory.
Reactive AI masters one field, like playing chess, performing a single manufacturing task, and similar. Limited memory machines can gather and remember information and use findings to offer recommendations (hotels, restaurants, etc.).
Theory of mind is a more developed type of AI capable of understanding human emotions. These machines can also take part in social interactions. Finally, self-aware AI is a conscious machine, but its development is reserved for the future.
History of Artificial Intelligence
The concept of artificial intelligence has roots in the 1950s. This was when AI became an academic discipline, and scientists started publishing papers about it. It all started with Alan Turing and his paper about computer machinery and intelligence that introduced basic AI concepts.
Here are some important milestones in the artificial intelligence field:
- 1952 – Arthur Samuel created a program that taught itself to play checkers.
- 1955 – John McCarthy’s workshop on AI, where the term was used for the first time.
- 1961 – First robot worker on a General Motors factory’s assembly line.
- 1980 – First conference on AI.
- 1986 – Demonstration of the first driverless car.
- 1997 – A program beat Gary Kasparov in a legendary chess match, thus becoming the first AI tool to win in a competition over a human.
- 2000 – Development of a robot that simulates a person’s body movement and human emotions.
AI in the 21st Century
The 21st century has witnessed some of the fastest advancements and applications of artificial intelligence across industries. Robots are becoming more sophisticated, they land on other planets, work in shops, clean, and much more. Global corporations like Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, and others regularly use AI tools in marketing to boost user experience, etc.
We’re also seeing the rise of AI chatbots like ChatGPT that can create content indistinguishable from human content.
Fields Used in Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence relies on the use of numerous technologies:
- Machine Learning – Making apps and processes that can perform tasks like humans.
- Natural Language Processing – Training computers to understand words like humans.
- Computer Vision – Developing tools and programs that can read visual data and take information from it.
- Robotics – Programming agents to perform tasks in the physical world.
Applications of Artificial Intelligence
Below is an overview of applications of artificial intelligence across industries.
Any business and sector that relies on automation can use AI tools for faster data processing. By implementing advanced artificial intelligence tools into daily processes, you can save time and resources.
Fraud is common in healthcare. AI in this field is mostly oriented toward lowering the risk of fraud and administrative fees. For example, using AI makes it possible to check insurance claims and find inconsistencies.
Similarly, AI can help advance and finetune medical research, telemedicine, medical training, patient engagement, and support. There’s virtually no aspect of healthcare and medicine that couldn’t benefit from AI.
Businesses across industries benefit from AI to finetune various aspects like the hiring process, threat detection, analytics, task automation, and more. Business owners and managers can make better-informed business decisions with less risk of error.
Modern-day education offers personalized programs tailored to the individual learner’s abilities and goals. By automating tasks with AI tools, teachers can spend more time helping students progress faster in their studies.
Security has never been more important following the rise of web applications, online shopping, and data sharing. With so much sensitive information shared daily, AI can help increase data protection and mitigate hacking attacks and threats. Systems with AI features can diagnose, scan, and detect threats.
Benefits and Challenges of Artificial Intelligence
There are enormous benefits of AI applications that can revolutionize any industry. Here are just some of them:
Automation and Increased Efficiency
AI helps streamline repetitive tasks, automate processes, and boost work efficiency. This characteristic of AI is already visible in all industries, and the use of programming languages like R and Python makes it all possible.
Improved Decision Making
Stakeholders can use AI to analyze immense amounts of data (with millions or billions of pieces of information) and make better-informed business decisions. Compare this to limited data analysis of the past, where researchers only had access to local documents or libraries, and you can understand how AI empowers present-day business owners.
By automating tasks and streamlining processes, businesses also spend less money. Savings in terms of energy, extra work hour costs, materials, and even HR are significant. When you use AI right, you can turn almost any project into reality with minimal cost.
Challenges of AI
Despite the numerous benefits, AI also comes with a few challenges:
Data Privacy and Security
All AI developments take place online. The web still lacks proper laws on data protection and privacy, and it’s highly possible that user data is being used without consent in AI projects worldwide. Until strict laws are enacted, AI will continue to pose a threat to data privacy.
Algorithms today assist humans in decision-making. Stakeholders and regular users rely on data provided by AI tools to complete or approach tasks and even form new beliefs and behaviors. Poorly trained machines can encourage human biases, which can be especially harmful.
AI is developing at the speed of light. Many tools are already replacing human labor in both the physical and digital worlds. A question remains to what degree machines will overtake the labor market in the future.
Artificial Intelligence Examples
Let’s look at real-world examples of artificial intelligence across applications and industries.
Apple was the first company to introduce a virtual assistant based on AI. We know the tool today by the name of Siri. Numerous other companies like Amazon and Google have followed suit, so now we have Alexa, Google Assistant, and many other AI talking assistants.
Users today find it ever more challenging to resist addictive content online. We’re often glued to our phones because our Instagram feed keeps suggesting must-watch Reels. The same goes for Netflix and its binge-worthy shows. These platforms use AI to enhance their recommendation system and offer ads, TV shows, or videos you love.
Shopping on Amazon works in a similar fashion. Even Spotify uses AI to offer audio recommendations to customers. It relies on your previous search history, liked content, and similar data to provide new suggestions.
New-age vehicles powered by AI have sophisticated systems that make commuting easier than ever. Tesla’s latest AI software can collect information in real-time from the multiple cameras on the vehicles. The AI makes a 3D map with roads, obstacles, traffic lights, and other elements to make your ride safer.
Waymo has a similar system of lidar sensors around the vehicles that send pulsations around the car and offer an overview of the car’s surroundings.
Banks and credit card companies implement AI algorithms to prevent fraud. Advanced software helps these companies understand their customers and prevent non-authorized users from making payments or completing other unauthorized actions.
Image and Voice Recognition
If you have a newer smartphone, you’re already familiar with Face ID and voice assistant tools. These are built on basic AI principles and are being integrated into broader systems like vehicles, vending machines, home appliances, and more.
Artificial intelligence encompasses both deep learning and machine learning. Machine learning encompasses deep learning and uses algorithms that learn from data, explore patterns, and predict outputs.
Deep learning relies on sophisticated neural networks similar to the networks in the human brain. Deep learning specialists use these neural networks to pinpoint patterns in large data sets.
Artificial Intelligence Continues to Grow and Develop
Although predicting the future is impossible, numerous AI specialists expect to see further development in this computer science discipline. More businesses will start implementing AI and we’ll see more autonomous vehicles and smarter robotics. That said, it’s increasingly important to take into account ethical considerations. As long as we use AI ethically, there’s no danger to our social interactions and privacy.
Soon, we will be launching four new Degrees for AY24-25 at OPIT – Open Institute of Technology
I want to offer a behind-the-scenes look at the Product Definition process that has shaped these upcoming programs.
🚀 Phase 1: Discovery (Late May – End of July)
Our journey began with intensive brainstorming sessions with OPIT’s Academic Board (Francesco Profumo, Lorenzo Livi, Alexiei Dingli, Andrea Pescino, Rosario Maccarrone) . We also conducted 50+ interviews with tech and digital entrepreneurs (both from startups and established firms), academics and students. Finally, we deep-dived into the “Future of Jobs 2023” report by the World Economic Forum and other valuable research.
🔍 Phase 2: Selection – Crafting Our Roadmap (July – August)
Our focus? Introducing new degrees addressing critical workforce shortages and upskilling/reskilling needs for the next 5-10 years, promising significant societal impact and a broad market reach.
Our decision? To channel our energies on full BScs and MScs, and steer away from shorter courses or corporate-focused offerings. This aligns perfectly with our core mission.
💡 Focus Areas Unveiled!
We’re thrilled to concentrate on pivotal fields like:
- Advanced AI
- Digital Business
- Metaverse & Gaming
- Cloud Computing (less “glamorous”, but market demand is undeniable).
🎓 Phase 3: Definition – Shaping the Degrees (August – November)
With an expert in each of the above fields, and with the strong collaboration of our Academic Director, Prof. Lorenzo Livi , we embarked on a rigorous “drill-down process”. Our goal? To meld modern theoretical knowledge with cutting-edge competencies and skills. This phase included interviewing over 60+ top academics, industry professionals, and students and get valuable, program-specific, insights from our Marketing department.
🌟 Phase 4: Accreditation and Launch – The Final Stretch
We’re currently in the accreditation process, gearing up for the launch. The focus is now shifting towards marketing, working closely with Greta Maiocchi and her Marketing and Admissions team. Together, we’re translating our new academic offering into a compelling value proposition for the market.
Stay tuned for more updates!
Far from being a temporary educational measure that came into its own during the pandemic, online education is providing students from all over the world with new ways to learn. That’s proven by statistics from Oxford Learning College, which point out that over 100 million students are now enrolled in some form of online course.
The demand for these types of courses clearly exists.
In fact, the same organization indicates that educational facilities that introduce online learning see a 42% increase in income – on average – suggesting that the demand is there.
Enter the Open Institute of Technology (OPIT).
Delivering three online courses – a Bachelor’s degree in computer science and two Master’s degrees – with more to come, OPIT is positioning itself as a leader in the online education space. But why is that? After all, many institutions are making the jump to e-learning, so what separates OPIT from the pack?
Here, you’ll discover the answers as you delve into the five reasons why you should trust OPIT for your online education.
Reason 1 – A Practical Approach
OPIT focuses on computer science education – a field in which theory often dominates the educational landscape. The organization’s Rector, Professor Francesco Profumo, makes this clear in a press release from June 2023. He points to a misalignment between what educators are teaching computer science students and what the labor market actually needs from those students as a key problem.
“The starting point is the awareness of the misalignment,” he says when talking about how OPIT structures its online courses. “That so-called mismatch is generated by too much theory and too little practical approach.” In other words, students in many classes spend far too much time learning the “hows” and “whys” behind computerized systems without actually getting their hands dirty with real work that gives them practical experience in using those systems.
OPIT takes a different approach.
It has developed a didactic approach that focuses far more on the practical element than other courses. That approach is delivered through a combination of classroom sessions – such as live lessons and masterclasses – and practical work offered through quizzes and exercises that mimic real-world situations.
An OPIT student doesn’t simply learn how computers work. They put their skills into practice through direct programming and application, equipping them with skills that are extremely attractive to major employers in the tech field and beyond.
Reason 2 – Flexibility Combined With Support
Flexibility in how you study is one of the main benefits of any online course.
You control when you learn and how you do it, creating an environment that’s beneficial to your education rather than being forced into a classroom setting with which you may not feel comfortable. This is hardly new ground. Any online educational platform can claim that it offers “flexibility” simply because it provides courses via the web.
Where OPIT differs is that it combines that flexibility with unparalleled support bolstered by the experiences of teachers employed from all over the world. The founder and director of OPIT, Riccardo Ocleppo, sheds more light on this difference in approach when he says, “We believe that education, even if it takes place physically at a distance, must guarantee closeness on all other aspects.” That closeness starts with the support offered to students throughout their entire study period.
Tutors are accessible to students at all times. Plus, every participant benefits from weekly professor interactions, ensuring they aren’t left feeling stuck on an educational “island” and have to rely solely on themselves for their education. OPIT further counters the potential isolation that comes with online learning with a Student Support team to guide students through any difficulties they may have with their courses.
In this focus on support, OPIT showcases one of its main differences from other online platforms.
You don’t simply receive course material before being told to “get on with it.” You have the flexibility to learn at your own pace while also having a support structure that serves as a foundation for that learning.
Reason 3 – OPIT Can Adapt to Change Quickly
The field of computer science is constantly evolving.
In the 2020s alone, we’ve seen the rise of generative AI – spurred on by the explosive success of services like ChatGPT – and how those new technologies have changed the way that people use computers.
Riccardo Ocleppo has seen the impact that these constant evolutions have had on students. Before founding OPIT, he was an entrepreneur who received first-hand experience of the fact that many traditional educational institutions struggle to adapt to change.
“Traditional educational institutions are very slow to adapt to this wave of new technologies and trends within the educational sector,” he says. He points to computer science as a particular issue, highlighting the example of a board in Italy of which he is a member. That board – packed with some of the country’s most prestigious tech universities – spent three years eventually deciding to add just two modules on new and emerging technologies to their study programs.
That left Ocleppo feeling frustrated.
When he founded OPIT, he did so intending to make it an adaptable institution in which courses were informed by what the industry needs. Every member of its faculty is not only a superb teacher but also somebody with experience working in industry. Speaking of industry, OPIT collaborates with major companies in the tech field to ensure its courses deliver the skills that those organizations expect from new candidates.
This confronts frustration on both sides. For companies, an OPIT graduate is one for which they don’t need to bridge a “skill gap” between what they’ve learned and what the company needs. For you, as a student, it means that you’re developing skills that make you a more desirable prospect once you have your degree.
Reason 4 – OPIT Delivers Tier One Education
Despite their popularity, online courses can still carry a stigma of not being “legitimate” in the face of more traditional degrees. Ocleppo is acutely aware of this fact, which is why he’s quick to point out that OPIT always aims to deliver a Tier One education in the computer science field.
“That means putting together the best professors who create superb learning material, all brought together with a teaching methodology that leverages the advancements made in online teaching,” he says.
OPIT’s degrees are all accredited by the European Union to support this approach, ensuring they carry as much weight as any other European degree. It’s accredited by both the European Qualification Framework (EQF) and the Malta Qualification Framework (MQF), with all of its courses having full legal value throughout Europe.
It’s also here where we see OPIT’s approach to practicality come into play via its course structuring.
Take its Bachelor’s degree in computer science as an example.
Yes, that course starts with a focus on theoretical and foundational knowledge. Building a computer and understanding how the device processes instructions is vital information from a programming perspective. But once those foundations are in place, OPIT delivers on its promises of covering the most current topics in the field.
Machine learning, cloud computing, data science, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity – all valuable to employers – are taught at the undergraduate level. Students benefit from a broader approach to computer science than most institutions are capable of, rather than bogging them down in theory that serves little practical purpose.
Reason 5 – The Learning Experience
Let’s wrap up by honing in on what it’s actually like for students to learn with OPIT.
After all, as Ocleppo points out, one of the main challenges with online education is that students rarely have defined checkpoints to follow. They can start feeling lost in the process, confronted with a metaphorical ocean of information they need to learn, all in service of one big exam at the end.
Alternatively, some students may feel the temptation to not work through the materials thoroughly, focusing instead on passing a final exam. The result is that those students may pass, but they do so without a full grasp of what they’ve learned – a nightmare for employers who already have skill gaps to handle.
OPIT confronts both challenges by focusing on a continuous learning methodology. Assessments – primarily practical – take place throughout the course, serving as much-needed checkpoints for evaluating progress. When combined with the previously mentioned support that OPIT offers, this approach has led to courses that are created from scratch in service of the student’s actual needs.
Choose OPIT for Your Computer Science Education
At OPIT, the focus lies as much on helping students to achieve their dream careers as it does on teaching them. All courses are built collaboratively. With a dedicated faculty combined with major industry players, such as Google and Microsoft, it delivers materials that bridge the skill gap seen in the computer science field today.
There’s also more to come.
Beyond the three degrees OPIT offers, the institution plans to add more. Game development, data science, and cloud computing, to name a few, will receive dedicated degrees in the coming months, accentuating OPIT’s dedication to adapting to the continuous evolution of the computer science industry. Discover OPIT today – your journey into computing starts with the best online education institution available.