How Does AI Learn?

As technology advances we hear more and more about AI technology and how it can help us.

We already have Google and Alexa, and countless more. Who has Siri, or Cortana on their phones?

How Does AI Learn?

All of this is AI technology, and we often enjoy it and have fun with it.

However, there is something always niggling in the back of our minds about how it works, what it is, and how on earth it actually gathers information.

Hollywood’s movies like to terrify us with concepts about technology uprising and killing us all.

It couldn’t be further from the truth, all you need is a few seconds of a power cut and Alexa has crashed and needs rebooting.

That being said, technology such as AI is very helpful to us, and it can get even more helpful.

With our lives becoming ever more hectic, AI can help us with the simple stuff, so we do not need to be overwhelmed, and can really take more time to relax.

So, how does it learn? And, does the way it learns open up more opportunities for advancements in this technology in the future?

What Is AI?

Let’s start at the simplest place of all, what AI is.

AI is a wide-ranging branch of computer science that is concerned with crafting smart machines that are able to perform tasks that would otherwise typically require human intelligence.

AI actually stands for ‘Artificial Intelligence’. It means exactly what it is.

How Does AI Work?

AI technology works by simply combining large amounts of data with speedy, iterative processing and intelligent algorithms.

This allows the software to learn through patterns and features inside the data.

It is a very broad field which includes many theories, methods, and technologies.

What Is AI Composed Of?

Most of the techniques used in AI are buzzwords, such as ‘deep learning’, or ‘language processing’.

Cutting-edge modern technology enables these computer systems to understand the meaning of human languages, learn from experiences, predict things, and so on.

Understanding this jargon is the key to the discussion of the real-world ability to apply this technology more.

It is disruptive to say the least, but it revolutionizes how we interact with information and make our decision.

Frankly, it should really be understood on its most basic level by everyone.

So, let’s look into the components that make up AI technology, allowing it to learn, and do what it does for us every day.

Machine Learning

How Does AI Learn?

Machine learning is the simple application of artificial intelligence that allows computer systems to have the ability to learn and evolve through experience without being programmed directly.

It keys in on the development of algorithms that are able to analyze data and make accurate predictions.

So it may be able to predict what movies you like, the best route to a destination, or what books you should read next.

It also is starting to show applications in healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and other life sciences that could help in aiding in disease diagnosis, developing drugs and so on.

Deep Learning

Another aspect of AI is deep learning which is a type of machine learning that uses artificial neural networks which learn through the processing of information. These networks are like tech versions of the neural networks in our brains.

There are multiple layers of these that work simultaneously to determine a single output from a plethora of inputs.

They learn through positive and negative reinforcement, much like animals, or children do. Speech recognition also counts in it, so your Siri uses this.

Neural Networking

Speaking of this, we know it is modelled after the human brain. It learns by processing examples.

These often come in large sets of data, for example 1,111 dog photos. By looking at this many images of dogs, the machine can then confirm if an image is of a dog or not.

This is a process that analyzes data multiple times to associate and give meaning to what for the network is previously unknown information.

It uses differing models to learn, such as negative and positive reinforcement, and it is therefore taught this way that it has successfully identified an object, such as a dog.

Cognitive Computing

This essential AI component, cognitive computing, imitates and betters the interaction between us and machines.

Cognitive computing basically attempts to recreate the human thought process inside a computer model.

Therefore, it includes things such as learning human languages, and understanding the meaning of images.

AI plus cognitive computers aims to give machines the ability to complete behaviors similar to human ones, and better abilities when it comes to processing information.

Or at least doing so in a more human way.


NLP is short for Natural Language Processing, and it gives computers the ability to recognize, interpret/ understand, and produce the human languages and speech, so yes, your Alexa, Siri, Cortana, or Google Nest has this.

The idea behind this is to make our interaction with these machines that we use all day for simple things, easier.

We do this by teaching these computer setups to understand our languages, and how we speak and when we say things.

Thus, this teaches them context and the importance of it.

It enables the machines to produce more logical, and human responses.

One of the best instances of this would be the Skype Translator which interprets the speech of varying languages into real-time to aids in the delivery of better communication.

Computer Vision

Finally, computer vision. This is a way to better imprint deep learning and identification into image recognition.

This can include tables, and pictures, graphs, text, or video.

It is a very important part of AI, especially nowadays.

It has been used the most recently in research and healthcare. It is already aiding in helping to diagnose patients faster, and even in evaluating x-rays!

To Conclude

To summarize, how do AI’s learn? There are many ways in which they learn. It depends on many factors and how we teach AI.

Programming is integral in getting them to learn efficiently, so there is more behind your Alexa than you realize.