Artificial Intelligence: Understand What it is and How it Works

Artificial Intelligence technology has become popular because it contributes to the development of operational tasks and can be used strategically in decision making.

Artificial Intelligence: Understand What it is and How it Works

Straight out of futuristic technology and science fiction movies, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a resource used extensively in everyday life — from simply utilizing a smartphone to making an online purchase.

Especially with the trend of Digital Transformation, the use of AI has become popular and widespread. 

However, research keeps revealing the potential of this technology, showing that there are still many possibilities to be explored.

Despite the popularization of this technology, many people still have questions about how it works and whether it can really be applied in different business segments.

Keep on reading to know more about this topic! We’ll answer the following questions:

    What is Artificial Intelligence (AI), and How Does it Work?

    The term Artificial Intelligence is not a new concept. 

    In 1956, Professor John McCarthy coined it to refer to the ability of machines to solve problems that, until then, could only be solved by humans.

    The concept of AI remains the same: machines thinking like humans; developing the ability to learn, reason, perceive, deliberate, and make logical decisions based on facts.

    Another important aspect of AI is that, because of its ability to learn, it needs to be constantly fed to continue to evolve, like a person.

    As complex as this process is, it is only possible with simple computing processes, such as:

    • Data Modeling
      Frameworks to intelligently process, categorize and analyze data.
    • Big Data
      Making large amounts of data available to be processed.
    • Processing Power
      The operational and logistical ability to process information quickly and efficiently.

    Despite this brief explanation, to understand how AI works, you need to know that a combination of technologies makes it possible.

    What Technologies Enable AI to Function?

    AI is composed of code and data, with the former responsible for reading and interpreting the latter. 

    However, AI is more than just data analysis. 

    To fulfill a complex plethora of commands that can mimic humans, it relies on several technologies.

    Machine Learning

    The first pillar of AI is Machine Learning. 

    This is where computers evolve and become capable of learning. With this technology, logical processing of data and identification of patterns that generate intelligence take place.

    Without Machine Learning, what we understand as AI would not materialize. 

    Today, for example, the technology is used extensively by Amazon to make more personalized and relevant recommendations to customers.

    The system works as follows: the machine monitors all customer actions on a website and identifies patterns, such as when customers who have seen product X also show interest in Y.

    So, when a user does the first search, the system recommends the other product because it identifies a relationship between the searches.

    In Machine Learning, these patterns are identified in infinite webs so that there are thousands of points of intersection consisting of connections between information, enabling intelligence on a large scale.

    Deep Learning

    Another essential concept for the achievement of today’s AI is Deep Learning. 

    This technology is a deeper version of Machine Learning, making it more intelligent and complex. 

    Deep Learning uses more sophisticated tools, making the results more accurate.

    Going back to the Amazon example, the technology identifies exceptions so as not to make unqualified suggestions. 

    Imagine this: if out of 1000 customers searching for “smartTVs“, 800 continue their search with “home theater“, the software understands this is a relevant recommendation.

    With Machine Learning, if five users start a search for “shoes” after searching for “smartTV“, the system could assume it as a valid recommendation.

    Systems that rely on Deep Learning, however, know that these are unrelated products, preventing exceptions from becoming rules when it comes to user behavior.

    Deep Learning uses more complex networks to conclude that, although there is an occurrence, this example is not a causal search and, therefore, it is not a relevant result for the user.

    In this sense, Deep Learning is able to understand human thoughts in more detail than Machine Learning.

    Natural Language Processing (NLP)

    The last pillar of AI is Natural Language Processing (NLP). 

    This is responsible for polishing results, making them more natural and human-like.

    For example, several e-commerce businesses currently use chatbots for customer service. However, the quality of this technology lies in the presence of NLP. 

    When it is not incorporated into the solution, the bot becomes artificial, unable to improve its language to make it more similar to the one used by customers.

    The over-perfection of the language and the inability to incorporate more informal elements is what makes the bot artificial, regardless of its ability to actually assist the customer.

    What are the Benefits of AI?

    AI has enabled direct and indirect benefits for businesses, being incorporated into operational stages and strategies due to its many possible applications.

    Let’s see four advantages offered by this technology:

    1. Automation

    AI allows the automation of voluminous computational processes, avoiding the need for people to perform tasks or even identify patterns. 

    However, this requires trained professionals to configure the system.

    The resource is also used in robotic automation and, in these cases, replaces operational tasks, such as tightening a screw with precision.

    In both situations, the technology optimizes processes and improves business performance.

    2. Predictability

    Among the many possible applications of AI is market predictions, behaviors, and processes due to Big Data analysis. 

    This process identifies patterns and establishes predictions from past events.

    Through predictive analytics using Machine Learning and AI, it is possible to consider unlimited data and scenarios to identify the most likely events, contributing to more effective and strategic decision-making.

    3. Deeper Data Analysis

    Big Data has been enabling systematic data analysis for a few years. 

    However, AI has deepened this interpretive capacity, generating more intelligence from the analysis of information.

    Thus, even a company whose competitors use similar techniques can differentiate itself enormously if it has a good data set and applies AI to identify patterns and predictions. 

    This strategy enables the extraction of more complex and valuable information from the data.

    4. Constant Improvement

    Artificial Intelligence enables constant evolution in regards to the use of data as it deals with multi-layered neural networks to build more complex and effective interpretive structures.

    To adopt Deep Learning, a company needs Big Data so that the model can learn from this information. 

    Also, the more data fed into the model, the more effective it becomes.

    How Does AI Work in Practice?

    Artificial Intelligence is already used in almost all business segments due to its customization flexibility. 

    Possible applications of this technology include strategic development, Digital Marketing, customer relationship and new business models.


    Online stores use AI mainly to provide a better experience to their consumers. 

    Among the uses of AI in this field, it is possible to mention:

    • Identifying consumer preferences according to browsing and consumption habits to provide a better shopping experience.
    • Making recommendations to customers based on the behavior of others.
    • Performing integrated customer services, such as using chatbots and CRM.

    Through these AI applications, e-commerce becomes more efficient in customer relationships.

    Although giants such as Amazon are innovating in the use of technologies, gaining competitive differentials, specialized tools and partners increasingly enable these resources to be adopted by small and medium retailers.


    Some applications of AI in automobiles are still in the testing phase, such as Uber’s autonomous car.

    But companies like Google and Tesla are already showing solid results by using this technology.

    In this context, AI is utilized to enable the car to carry out several commands on its own, such as parking, monitoring blind spots, and detecting collisions. 

    The goal is for the technology to increase traffic safety and to be affordable in the long term.


    AI has even been used to enable new business models in the entertainment segment, such as Netflix. 

    The company uses the technology to make suggestions to users and improve recommendations, which is a core aspect of the experience on the platform.

    In addition, the use also extends to the gaming segment, in which characters are endowed with personality, making interaction more complex.


    Several applications of Artificial Intelligence have impacted the medical field to improve healthcare services. 

    Commonly, AI is used to read important exams, such as CT scans. 

    By training the technology, it can identify changes as accurately or more accurately than doctors.

    Besides that, some applications in healthcare are also concerned with analyzing patient data to identify early stages of serious diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.


    One of the first segments to make use of AI was manufacturing. 

    With robotic automation, it became possible to assemble and pack parts without human interference, ensuring the quality of the process and, at the same time, production optimization.

    The expectation is that the technology will contribute to operational processes in the industry and be increasingly determinant in the creation and planning stages, providing production and market intelligence.

    Wrap Up: Artificial Intelligence Will Be Everywhere

    AI is a comprehensive technology with such diverse applications that it has become present in the day-to-day of all people connected to the internet, whether by accessing a social network, a news website, or even just checking their email.

    Understanding how it works and its most frequent uses offers insights and intelligence for greater resource distribution.

    Now that you know more about Artificial Intelligence and how businesses can benefit from it, check out some additional content with our recorded webinar on the role of AI in marketing!


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