Artificial Intelligence -Machine Learning -Bot and Co.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.



Jochen Möller
Jochen Möller

What is behind these technologies and how can companies benefit from them?

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are no longer niche applications, but are finding their way into more and more areas of life and work. Whether navigation devices, search engines or voice assistants: We encounter artificial intelligence in many places today. In the following article, you will learn what exactly is hidden behind the various terms and what benefits companies can also derive from concrete applications.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence refers to technologies that emulate the cognitive competencies of humans, such as strategic thinking or context-sensitive language. A distinction is made between weak and strong AI:

  • Weak AIs are machines that substitute certain human cognitive skills to perform a specific task and behave intelligently in doing so.
  • In contrast, strong AI is defined as a machine that has all the cognitive abilities of a human and would thus be able to solve any intellectual challenge.

In fact, only machines and applications with weak AI exist so far. Strongly intelligent machines still only exist in science fiction.

In order to provide applications or machines with artificial intelligence, intelligent (e.g. situational) action is trained on the basis of large amounts of data. For this purpose, the computer is fed with an extensive amount of structured data, each of which is connected to a concrete task. Within this data set, patterns can be recognised that allow the system to "learn".

Certain skills are required for this:

  • Perceiving: Via a sensor or a data interface, the system is provided with data, which it processes and evaluates.
  • Understanding: The data must be interpreted in the system using algorithms, statistical analysis, text recognition, speech recognition or similar.
  • Act: The processed data must be output or processed according to defined rules.
  • Learning: Through feedback loops, the system learns from errors and other feedback from the areas of "understanding" and "acting" and thus continuously improves itself.

What is Machine Learning?

Machine Learning is a sub-field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), although the term is often used synonymously with AI. Machine learning is divided into three types:

  • Supervised learning: here an algorithm is taught with a large set of exemplary inputs and outputs. By comparing the outputs of the algorithm with the actual outputs, the system continuously learns and is thus also enabled to correctly predict outputs for previously unknown inputs.
  • Unsupervised learning: The goal here is to identify and recognise patterns in the data to be evaluated. To do this, the algorithm is provided with a large amount of input, from which it creates a data model that maps internal relationships (e.g. similarities).
  • Reinforcement learning: In this form of learning, the algorithm learns independently which action makes sense for which state in order to achieve a defined goal. Learning success is achieved through reward and sanction, which are realised in the form of numerical values.

What benefits do Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning bring to companies?

Many IT applications today are equipped with weak artificial intelligence, without this necessarily being obvious to the user. This is because AI applications always show their strength where similar or repetitive tasks often have to be completed. An example of this is the automatic categorisation of digital information: AI algorithms can interpret documents, images and videos and react differently depending on the content.

Another now very common application for AI is the chat bot: a bot (short for robot) is a computer programme that performs repetitive tasks automatically and can also respond to user interactions. A chat or messenger bot can be used, for example, on a website or in a programme to provide information or respond to questions from visitors. The AI working in the background interprets the input of the human visitor and selects suitable answers.

The chat bot can also be used to forward enquiries internally to the responsible contact person if the bot was unable to solve the problem. In this way, customer enquiries can be processed more quickly and the support staff efficiently relieved.

Another application for artificial intelligence is data mining, i.e. the evaluation and analysis of extensive amounts of data. Since this involves digital data that must be searched and analysed by the AI algorithm, artificial intelligence is clearly superior to human intelligence here because it works faster and more accurately.

In the area of IT security in particular, there is another possible application, because with the means of artificial intelligence, anomalies in networks and log files can be identified in real time. For this purpose, all accesses, data queries and entries in the system are continuously monitored and suspicious actions are automatically reported.

Is the use of AI worthwhile in every company?

Artificial intelligence is already considered a key technology today, which is partly due to the fact that the technology is now also open to small and medium-sized enterprises. For example, the technical hurdles for using a chat bot are very low; the necessary computing power can also be provided by smaller data centres. In addition, many applications that are used in companies are also available as a cloud service. Resource-intensive algorithms can simply be moved to the cloud without the company having to build and maintain its own capacities.

The fact that it is worthwhile for all companies to deal with this topic is also shown by a study commissioned by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, which predicts a possible additional gross value added of around 32 billion euros in five years in the manufacturing industry alone. The leading sectors here are logistics and production, where more than half of all large companies already use AI technology. However, the possibilities of artificial intelligence are also being used more and more in other areas, such as service and customer service, purchasing and procurement as well as human resources management, in order to accelerate processes, relieve staff of recurring standard tasks and thus increase work quality and productivity.

AI functionalities are also used in the EcholoN service management software suite, for example in the workflow engine, the data workflow system or the integrated knowledge database. Here, the AI algorithms ensure that information from different sources is analysed, structured and categorised. All this happens in the background so that employees have more time to actually work on solving problems.

Would you like to learn more about how you can use AI and EcholoN to optimise your business processes and take your service management to a new level? Then we are very much looking forward to hearing from you - without obligation and without complications: Send us your request

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