In this article we tell you everything about AI (Artificial Intelligence): what it is, types, uses, best intelligences, etc. Don't miss it!



Artificial intelligence is not a topic of the future, although its potential developments and standardisation may take a few years. But do you know how many everyday activities use AI without you even knowing it? Google search, Netflix and Amazon platforms, social networks, email, or voice assistants are just some examples, but there are many more.

What is artificial intelligence?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a field of computer science that focuses on creating systems that can perform tasks that typically require human intelligence, such as learning, reasoning, and perception.

These systems can perceive their environment, reason about knowledge, process information derived from data, and make decisions to achieve a given goal.

The term "Artificial Intelligence" (AI) was coined by John McCarthy in 1956 during the Dartmouth Conference, a historic event that brought together some of the top scientists of the time to discuss the possibility of creating a machine that could think like a human.

Certain intelligent technologies have existed for over 50 years, but advances in computing power, the availability of huge amounts of data and new algorithms have allowed great advances to be made in this field in recent years.

Today, artificial intelligence has become one of the most disruptive and attention-grabbing technologies. The pace at which increasingly powerful models are emerging is accelerating, and both the possibilities and potential dangers of its use are generating debate, both within the scientific community and on a political scale.

How it works

Artificial intelligences use algorithms and mathematical models to process large amounts of data and make decisions based on patterns and rules established through machine learning. Machine learning is the ability of a machine to learn autonomously from data without being specifically programmed to do so. This way AI can improve its accuracy and efficiency over time.

Companies in all sectors are already testing its uses, ranging from design to simplifying fieldwork, to confirming expert predictions, turning 2024 into the year when AI becomes a mainstream economic tool.

Types of artificial intelligence

According to the European Commission's definition of AI, there are two types:

  • Software: virtual assistants, image analysis software, search engines or voice and face recognition systems.
  • Integrated artificial intelligence: robots, drones, autonomous vehicles or the Internet of Things.

But this is not the only possible classification. In their book "Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach", Stuart J. Russell and Peter Norvig establish four types of AI:

  • Systems that think like humans: These focus on emulating human intelligence, both in terms of behaviour and thinking. They seek to mimic the way humans think and solve problems.
  • Systems that act like humans: These focus on emulating human intelligence, but only in terms of behaviour. They seek to mimic the way humans behave and act in the world.
  • Systems that think rationally: they focus on solving problems logically and rationally. They seek to maximise the efficiency and accuracy of their decisions, without necessarily considering human behaviour.
  • Systems that act rationally: they focus on decision-making and action in the world, always seeking to make the best possible decision based on the information available.

Artificial intelligences can also be differentiated according to their power:

  • Weak AI: Also known as Narrow AI. These are systems designed to perform specific and limited tasks, such as voice recognition, image identification, or language translation. They have no ability to learn or adapt on their own, and need to be programmed to perform a given task. Their scope is limited and they are unable to perform tasks outside their field of expertise.
  • Strong AI: designed to have a wide range of cognitive skills and autonomous learning ability. These systems can multitask and learn autonomously as they interact with the environment. Strong AI needs to have the ability to reason, plan, and make complex decisions across a broad spectrum of situations.
  • Superintelligent AI: a type of AI that would surpass human intelligence in all aspects. This level of AI would be able to understand the world in a way that is beyond human ability, and would be able to solve complex problems at a speed and efficiency that humans cannot reach. It is a theoretical form of AI that has not yet been developed in practice.

Examples of Artificial Intelligence

  • Online shopping and advertising: to create personalized recommendations, optimise products, plan inventory, logistics processes, etc.
  • Search engines learn from user-provided data to offer relevant search results. The mechanisms that trawl the Internet and personalise your search for information are smart machines.
  • Social networks: Five billion people use some form of social network, 62% of the world's population. They are intelligent machines that adapt the information they give us, taking into account not only what type of message you are most interested in, based on your usage history, but also customising the information based on the preferences of your friends and contacts.
  • Digital personal assistants on smartphones. Siri and Alexa's software tools use language processors and AI gadgets to give individualised information.
  • Email: both spell-check software that identifies typing errors, and predictive software (which ‘finishes the sentences’) are smart machines, as well as the Spam filter.
  • Language translation programs, based on both written and oral text, use artificial intelligence to provide and improve translations. AI also applies to other functions, such as automatic subtitling.
  • Netflix and Amazon: AI machines suggest the products you like the most.
  • Smart homes, cities and infrastructure: AI is also present in the field of home automation with applications such as smart thermostats that learn from our behaviour to save energy. Urban planners are also studying ways to apply artificial intelligence to issues like traffic regulation, to make city traffic more efficient and reduce traffic jams.
  • Vehicles: Although autonomous cars are not yet a widespread reality, vehicles already use AI-powered safety features. For example, the EU assisted in funding the VI-DAS vision-based driver assistance system, which detects potentially dangerous situations and accidents.
  • Cybersecurity: AI can also help recognise and fight cyberattacks and other online threats based on the data they continuously receive, recognising patterns and preventing attacks.
  • Combating misinformation: Some AI applications can detect fake news and misinformation by extracting information from social networks, searching for sensational or alarming words, and identifying which online sources are considered authoritative.

Most popular AI models

Some examples of models that emerged in 2022-23 and garnered significant media attention are the following:

Challenges and dangers of artificial intelligence

While AI has the potential to transform the way we interact with the world, it also presents a number of challenges and concerns:

  • AI algorithms can be biased if based on incomplete or unrepresentative data.
  • There is concern that AI could be used for malicious purposes, such as cyber warfare or manipulating public opinion.
  • It has the potential to replace human workers in many fields, which could have a negative impact on the economy.
  • AI raises a number of ethical concerns, such as privacy, security, and accountability.

How to talk to Artificial Intelligence?: prompts

A prompt is an instruction or request given to the AI to perform a task or provide information. They can be simple or complex, and can be used in a variety of AI applications, from chatbots to recommendation systems. To get the most out of it:

  • Be specific and clear: Providing precise and specific details will help the AI better understand the task and perform it more efficiently. If the AI does not understand what is being asked of it, it may provide inaccurate or irrelevant results.
  • Provide relevant information. For example, if requesting a recommendation system to suggest a movie, it's important to provide information about the movie genre, preferred plot type, and appropriate age rating. The more relevant information provided, the more accurate the AI response.
  • Provide feedback: If an AI provides an inaccurate or irrelevant response, providing feedback on what was expected or needed can help it better understand the task and improve its performance in the future.

AI in Spain

In March 2023, the National Observatory of Technology and Society (ONTSI), an advisory body attached to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation through the State Secretariat for Digitisation and Artificial Intelligence and belonging to the entity, published the latest version of its report "Use of artificial intelligence and big data in Spanish companies".

According to the report, 11.8% of Spanish companies with more than ten workers have already adopted the use of AI, four points more than in 2021. Uses:

  • 46.2% to automate workflows and assist in decision making.
  • 39.7% for the identification of people or objects based on images.
  • In the case of micro-businesses, 48% find their greatest utility in applications to convert spoken language into a readable format.

By sectors of activity, companies whose activity focuses on information and communications (41.9%) and those dedicated to the ICT sector (41.3%) account for the majority of AI use in the business sector.