The term “AI” is thrown around casually every day. You hear aspiring developers saying they want to learn AI. You also hear executives saying they want to implement AI in their services. But quite…

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As business people, we know that technology is necessary, game-changing, disruptive and very costly. Wise leaders stay aware of current technologies, so they can decide which ones to take advantage of and which ones to avoid. Having said that, I do not pretend to understand much about technology. I am not, and honestly never wanted to be, a techie – even though some of the people I care most about are a bit on the nerdy side. I am, however, fascinated by the concepts of technology. Things like artificial intelligence (AI) and its lesser known (at least to us non-techies) companion, Machine Learning (ML), which leads us to Deep Learning, a popular type of ML, sort of like running is a popular type of exercise. So, why do we care? Ever wonder how Google can sort through and classify millions of images to give you more accurate search results? How Google Assistant understands spoken commands and questions? Or how a PhD student at Georgia Tech got a robot to play the marimba and write its own compositions? According to a Forbes article, “Deep learning networks can be successfully applied to big data for knowledge discovery, knowledge application, and knowledge-based prediction. In other words, deep learning can be a powerful engine for producing actionable results.” Think self-driving cars. Fascinating, but a little scary? So, that’s why we care. While we’re not techies, it behooves anyone working in business or, perhaps, anyone living on this planet to understand the high-level concepts behind how these things work and the potential impacts they bring. For example, there is concern that robots and automation mean job loss for large segments of people and concern that governance needed to adequately control this powerful technology requires often elusive global collaboration. But, on a lighter note, who among us doesn’t like having some impressive tech jargon in our pockets to casually toss out at happy hour? This article, written by a software engineering student, is right up my alley. The article could have been titled “Deep Learning for Dummies” (which is a funny thought in itself). Even though it gets a little techie for me toward the end, the article does provide a simple, yet seemingly complete explanation of AI, ML and Deep Learning. A little knowledge, in this case, does go a long way. Technology should be a tool of business and society, not the reverse.

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