Artificial intelligence – the fundamentals

Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to the development of computer systems that are able to perform tasks that usually require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision making and understanding a natural language. Artificial intelligence is a fast developing field and has the potential to transform numerous industries and aspects of daily life.

There are different types of artificial intelligence, including:

  1. Rule-based systems: These are computer programmes that follow a set of pre-defined rules for problem solving.
  2. Machine learning: This includes training computer programmes to learn based on data without explicit programming. Machine learning algorithms can identify data patterns and provide forecasts or decisions based on such patterns.
  3. Deep learning: This is a type of machine learning that involves the use of neuronal networks, i.e. complex algorithms that can learn how to identify data patterns. Deep learning has been particularly successful in areas such as image and speech recognition.
  4. Processing of a natural language: This involves teaching computers to understand and generate human language. The processing of a natural language is used in case of applications such as chatbots, voice assistants and language translation.

Artificial intelligence can be applied in different fields, such as health, finances, transportation and entertainment industry. However, there are also concerns that artificial intelligence might influence employment, privacy and security.

Potential application:

  • Health protection: Artificial intelligence can be used for the development of better diagnostics tools, disease outbreak forecasts and optimisation of treatment plans.
  • Finances: Artificial intelligence can be used to identify fraud and take decisions on investments and risk management.
  • Transportation: Artificial intelligence can be used to improve traffic flow, logistics and development of self-driving vehicles.
  • Entertainment: Artificial intelligence can be used to personalise recommended contents, create more realistic video games and develop virtual reality experiences.

Concerns regarding artificial intelligence:

  • Employment: There are concerns that artificial intelligence might lead to an automation of many jobs, which would result in a considerable loss of jobs.
  • Privacy: Artificial intelligence systems can gather and analyse large quantities of data, which is a cause of concern in the context of privacy and data protection.
  • Security: There are concerns that artificial intelligence systems might be subject to cyber-attacks or used for the development of malicious software.
  • Bias: Artificial intelligence systems can be biased if they were trained using biased data or if they reflect the bias of their programmer.


  • Data quality: Artificial intelligence systems require large quantities of high-quality data in order to be efficiently trained.
  • Interpretability: Some artificial intelligence systems can be difficult to interpret, which makes it difficult to understand how certain decisions were made.
  • Regulations: Regulations are needed in order to ensure that artificial intelligence systems are secure and ethical.
  • Ethical considerations: There are ethical considerations regarding the development and use of artificial intelligence, including also issues such as fairness, accountability and transparency.


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