Artificial Intelligence (AI) is no longer the stuff of science fiction…
AI chatbots such as ChatGPT have gained prominence in recent months, with industry figureheads like Bill Gates even declaring their capabilities to be as significant as the invention of the computer graphical user interface.
However, are supposedly revolutionary programs like ChatGPT truly ‘AI’, or are they instead simply an advanced and more accessible form of ‘machine learning’? And what does this all of this have to do with business technology?
What’s the difference between AI and machine learning?
Artificial Intelligence has long referred to the (mostly theoretical) capability of a computer system to simulate complex thought on par with human levels of intelligence.
Machine learning, on the other hand, refers to the ability of a computer system to learn from human input to undertake complex, automated processes.
The algorithms driving modern generative AI innovations like chatbots, automatic writing/translation tools, and image generators require mountains of reference data to develop accurate and consistent styles that could pass for human-created content.
This is practically the definition of machine learning, so it’s debatable whether these tools should really be referred to as AI as they cannot yet ‘think for themselves’ – while ChatGPT might write you a 1000-word blog post in a matter of seconds, it struggles to solve word puzzles…
However, the term has long been synonymous with futuristic ideas of robotics and hyper-intelligent computers that make our lives easier.
It’s understandable then why labelling machine learning tools as ‘AI’ works as a recognisable and enticing selling point.
Why is this relevant to businesses?
This might not mean much for businesses that don’t intend to use tools like ChatGPT, however many modern software systems tout AI capabilities as a key selling point.
Should you be interested in taking advantage of these technological innovations, it helps to understand what they actually mean for business software.
AI/machine learning functions within business software are used for many complex and labour-intensive analytical processes.
From aggregating vast amounts of data and identifying trends to automating processes and generating reports, machine learning provides a step up in terms of insight and value for business software.
We’re a far way off from an age of fully sentient computer programs running our businesses, however, the strides being made in the past few years show that we may well be heading in that direction…
If you’re interested in finding new software systems that leverage modern AI innovations, then speak to the software procurement experts at YourShortlist to receive a free, no-obligation list of providers.