What is Artificial intelligence?

Africa Data School
6 min readAug 6, 2020

“Once a new technology rolls over you, if you are not part of the steamroller, you are part of the road.”
— Stewart Brand

With the hype around Artificial intelligence, we ought to know this revolutionizing technology. It is my obligation. It is your devoir. Understanding will enable you and me to live in tranquility with technology and to realize what AI technology encompasses and what it gives.

Today We look at the unique steamroller in town that is setting up a pathway to the future. We shall cover Artificial intelligence in depth from the beginning to the current position and what to expect from Artificial intelligence in the coming future. Will you be part of the steamroller, or you shall be part of the road? Only time will tell!

artificial intelligence


what is intelligence?

Intelligence is the capacity of logic, reasoning, understanding, reasoning, and thinking critically. We have Natural-intelligence, which is the form that is portrayed by living organisms from the simplest to the most complex.

Artificial Intelligence or AI is the intelligence that is showed by a machine. A computer system/robot that can display behavior that is associated with intelligent beings.

The history of AI

It all began as a myth, a story, rumors of a machine with the ability to think and act similarly as a human being. It dates back to 1308 when Catalan poet and theologian Ramon Llull published Ars generalis ultima (The Ultimate General Art), further perfecting his method of using paper-based mechanical means to create new knowledge from the combination of concepts.

Later on in the 19th century, an English mathematician and writer, Lady Ada Lovelace envisioned, that “A machine might compose elaborate and scientific pieces of music of any degree of complexity or extent” this was advanced in the 1940s when a Bombe machine was invented by Alan Turing, leading to increased research in AI. The computer processing power limited it, and the cost of computing was high. This seemed to be a dormant season for AI we know it as the AI winter. From 1980 much focus was attained that led to a leap with considerable funding and improved computing capability.

With the emergence of the GPU a leap forward has been experienced in AI. With a GPU we have a processor with thousands of cores capable of performing millions of mathematical operations in parallel. There is a similarity between graphic rendering and deep learning. Both these scenarios deal with a huge number of matrix multiplication operations per second. With this, the processing in an AI which relies on data is increased which enables multiple tasks to run at the same time.

Applications of Artificial Intelligence

applications of artificial intelligence.


Today we are experiencing the agricultural revolution to the use of smart systems that are smart and can make decisions on their own. we see the interaction of AI in

Agricultural Robots companies are creating autonomous robots that can handle important tasks such as harvesting.

Crop and Soil Monitoring AI system is data-driven by analyzing the crops or the soil data is generated. In the case of a change in the soil pH, the system alerts the system which can take the needed steps to prevent loss of crops. This is soil monitoring.

Predictive Analytics by predicting weather patterns farmers will be able to plan what they shall plant depending on the foreseen weather pattern.

Education Sector

Education is a sector that will experience a rapid change due to artificial intelligence. Due to the corona-virus, a change is being felt in the education sector as schools try to adopt new technology and virtual learning becoming a new mode of learning. Imagine being at home and attending a class in virtual reality.

Artificial intelligence has altered the education system.

Health sector

Medicine is a major and crucial sector and has seen the fruits of AI.the integration of AI in the healthcare sector has enabled the diagnosis of diseases in real-time. The fight against diseases is at another level, with innovations in the medical sector. Hospitals and healthcare centers are fast embracing AI-enabled technologies to facilitate everything from research to the detection of diseases.

Banking and Finance

Banking and finance since the introduction of the ATM and the mobile banking (M-pesa) the banking and finance sectors took a turn with immense changes being experienced. This connected the banking sector and made it safer reliable and time-saving sector. Today we are in the mobile banking era where we are conducting transactions from the comfort of our homes.

AI also provides customer experience and interactions at the front desk.this is a time-saving experience as one would spend time researching and trying to get answers.AI is transforming the banking sector.


Industrialization with automation in the industries AI has made the processing and manufacturing in the industries and factories fast and increased the quality of the services provided by industries. It has also relieved people the manual works.

Transport sector

It is a form of AI that has impacted the transport sector. Having a car that will drive you from one place to your destination is a realization of a dream. Companies have heavily invested in the transport sector, Tesla the making of smart cars the impact is being felt.

Advantages of Artificial intelligence

  • Reduction of Error — An AI helps us for error reduction and increasing the chance of reaching higher accuracy with a greater degree of precision.
  • Automation — Having a car that will drive you from one place to your destination is a realization of a dream. With automation tasks that are considered risky are done by an automated machine.
  • Medical applications — The integration of AI in the healthcare sector has enabled the diagnosis of diseases in real-time. The fight against diseases is at another level with innovations in the medical sector.
  • Handling repetitive jobs — Repetitive is tiresome, these jobs can be easily handled with the help of AI algorithms.
  • Digital assistants -The implementation of machines on behalf of humans to interact with their customers by using ‘avatars’. It is the digital assistants or replicas that will help to reduce the need for human resources.
  • Daily applications. With time personal mobile phones have become a basic need with everyone using one. It is a form of AI that has made communication easy, affordable, and accessible.
  • Availability. An AI can be programmed to work for long hours and can able to perform the job continuously without getting bored or distracted or even tired.

Disadvantages of Artificial intelligence

  • Job loss is an inevitable scenario when it comes to artificial intelligence. Even though AI will lead to a loss of jobs it also opens up opportunities in the computing sector.
  • No Improvement with Experience
  • Machines do not have emotions.
  • High costs of production. For an AI to be created funding has to be done which is very high due to their complex nature.
  • Lack of creativity in an Artificial intelligent machine.


“Anything that could give rise to smarter-than-human intelligence — in the form of Artificial Intelligence, brain-computer interfaces, or neuroscience-based human intelligence enhancement — wins hands down beyond contest as doing the most to change the world. Nothing else is even in the same league.”

— Eliezer Yudkowsky

Artificial intelligence is an inevitable scenario. AI is a revolutionary technology that will not leave any stone unturned. The era of artificial intelligence is here, and it is irresistible. It is an era that will similarly revolutionize the world that electricity transformed society.

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Africa Data School




Africa Data School

Intensive training for a career in artificial intelligence and machine learning. https://africadataschool.com/