AI All Around Us

Jan 8, 2024 | generative AI, machine learning

It is virtually impossible to avoid hearing about AI all around us. Ever since ChatGPT hit the market, AI has become a never-ending topic of news, articles, advertisements. Many sing its praises and tout all the benefits, while others warn of doom and gloom. Artificial intelligence isn’t exactly new–the term goes back to the mid-1950s. Artificial Intelligence is a broad term and encompasses a few different subsets of processes. Generally, it refers to machines or computers doing things that we consider a skill limited to human intelligence. What has caught the public eye is what is labeled “generative AI”. Generative AI (e.g. CHatGPT) refers to the AI tools that can create content, music, images, code and voice. What makes generative AI so widespread in its applications is that it doesn’t require coding skills for a layperson to use them. Tools that create content use natural language to be “told” what to do.

Questions about generative AI

The media has certainly been filled with concern about AI and has raised many questions about areas where we potentially interact with it. How do we know the content we are reading is accurate, from reliable sources and has been vetted for accuracy? Many worry it can be used to create misleading information that could misdirect our understanding of social, political, cultural, legal and other issues that affect the well-being of society. Others worry it could displace whole sectors of human labor. These are legitimate questions that must be explored thoroughly, but are not part of this discussion.

Where is the average person meeting AI?

We meet it every day in places we probably never give much thought to. Those recommendations for purchases that you see on every shopping website you visit? That is done by a form of AI known as machine learning. Your thermostat that turns the heat up and down by learning when you usually leave the house? The refrigerator that makes your shopping list? That is machine learning.
If you use a Managed Service Provider, AI is a new line of higher quality defense against cybercrime used to protect you. One of the greatest risks a business faces is a breach of its data by cybercriminals: malware, ransomware, social engineering attacks and the increasingly sophisticated methods being developed. Ransomware is particularly insidious. It can seize your data and hold it hostage for a ransom of currency or crypto. Once attacked, if you don’t have a secured backup to restore, there are very few alternatives to submitting to the ransom request. AI can help MSPs respond faster to specific threats and concerns, and assist in diagnosis and troubleshooting. Also, as every SMB knows, 24/7 monitoring and support is a critical service that an MSP can provide far more efficiently than a company can do in-house. AI can improve 24/7 monitoring because it can evaluate an enormous amount of data, far faster than humans, and likely identify problems before they impact your business.

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