Companies, commentators and even sci-fi movies can’t stop talking about artificial intelligence (AI).

Indeed, AI in the real world is far from the artificial intelligence villains you might recall from your favorite sci-fi flick.

This article will break down what artificial intelligence is, how it works and how it’s used in the real world. It will also explore AI technology’s benefits and potential downsides now and in the near future.

Artificial intelligence explained

Artificial intelligence is the computer simulation of human intelligence. It’s programming one or more machines to act in a way that mimics or replicates human behavior. AI breakthroughs are tied to computer science and programming languages, and applications of AI are scalable to simplify workflows across various industries.

Depending on the AI program or software used, it can more or less act similarly to someone doing the same task when viewed from the outside as an observer.