Original article was published on Deep Learning on Medium

## Explained Easily

## Understand AI in 5 minutes

How would you explain to a medieval time traveler what cars are? Simply, there is too much knowledge missing: he has no idea of what electricity, fuel, and batteries are. What you can say to him is that a car is a tool that can bring you from point A to point B. Seriously, does he need to know anything else?

Like a car, you do not need to be knowledgeable of the mechanical design and physics of how a combustible engine works to understand its use.

# Problem

The only reason you might want to know what AI is is to know **what problems you can solve with it.**

What do I mean by the term problem? If you wish you use AI, you need data. What you want to extract from the data is essentially a mathematical problem that you have to solve. Some examples of problems are:

For example, if you have a dataset (a dataset is essentially an Excel table with data) on Covid-19, you might want to forecast **how many new cases there will be tomorrow in the World.**

If you have a dataset of millions of emails you want to **divide the spam from the non-spam**, and if you have a dataset of road signs, you want the computer to **be able to recognize them by classifying them into different categories**.

Here is a list of common problems that AI can solve for you. If you happen to have any dataset with information and know what problem you want to solve, with the proper tools **you can create an AI with a personal computer (even on Google Drive) for FREE**. This gives you an idea of how available this technology is in 2020.

These are the most common categories of statistical models in Machine Learning. You can choose which one to use to solve your problem. (the two missing statistical models are called Association and Dimensionality reduction, but they are not so practical, therefore will not be covered in this article).

# Why so many examples?

Of course, the problems you can solve with AI are not limited to the ones listed here, but this is a collection of the most practical and common problems.

If I was going to list one example only, it is unlikely you would have understood its practical purposes. With so many examples you can see the practical applications in different fields. If you are managing a company and you wish to make good use of its data, you have many options: forecasting future earnings, understanding your target in more detail…

# AI = Machine Learning

To minimize its complexity, you can think of AI as a collection of statistical models that can be applied to data. This vast collection is called Machine Learning.

Machine learning is also divided into two subcategories: Supervised and Unsupervised. Each category contains plenty of statistical models. Given our problem, we just have to choose the statistical approach.

Ex.

We stated our problem: we wish to predict how many positive new Covid-19 cases there will in our country tomorrow. Among the plethora of statistical approaches, we choose to use the first graph, which is a regression approach. (It takes a data analyst to select the best model with the best parameters, that is the reason why in this article you won’t find any information on how we choose one model from another).

# The Role of data

Because there are two categories of problems that can be solved with AI, we will look into Supervised Learning first. The following example shows a tabular data, a simple Excel file: a dataset.

To use AI, you need data. The more data, the better.