As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes embedded into virtually every part of the business, it’s important for executives to keep up with the conversation. However, according to the latest research, nearly half of business leaders admit they have no idea how the technology actually works, let alone the real business applications that are in use today.

Below we breakdown the latest lingo in the world of AI, including the difference between AI and machine learning, as well as some real-world use cases that are transforming industries. 

Let’s start with some clear definitions:

1. Artificial intelligence

A term first used in the late 1950s, you can think of artificial intelligence as the underlying technology that powers many of today’s breakthrough analytics and automation solutions. According to the English Oxford Living Dictionary, artificial intelligence is the “development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.” AI applications at this level include rules engines, expert systems and knowledge graphs.

2. Machine Learning

As AI advanced, so did the technology’s capacity to do more faster as a result of machine learning. According to a recent kdnuggsts post, machine learning is the “automation of analytics, so that it can be applied at scale.” By automating the previously manual and time-consuming task of analyzing data, while enabling exposure to much broader data sets, machines can learn from previous and real-time events to make better predictions about what will happen next. Indeed, predicting the future is perhaps the most common application of machine learning today with predictive analytics solutions powering everything from customer service chatbots to augmented intelligence to preventative maintenance solutions.

3. Deep Learning

Now, here’s where things get really, well, deep. This form of AI attempts to simulate neural networks that enable systems to take on more complex decision making, learning to perform tasks by analyzing data and previous examples without being instructed to do so by a human. Deep learning technology is in use today, powering applications like speech recognition, natural language processing, audio recognition, and machine translation.

Now, let’s look at the technology in action. Below are some specific AI use cases that are making waves in their respective industries:


AI is already hard at work at the world’s leading banks. But there’s more at play here than implementing chat bots on a web site. AI and its related applications are completely transforming the banking industry. Machine learning applications that provide customer service agents with augmented intelligence based on just the right data at just the right moment are enabling more relevant product offers and improved sales, as well as providing a better customer experience. Machine learning is also helping in the fight against fraud at financial institutions by using algorithms to spot unusual or suspicious activity, and flagging it for human intervention. 


According to a recent Business News Daily article, healthcare is another industry poised to benefit from AI technology and applications. Like most industries, it’s still early days for AI adoption in hospitals and healthcare facilities, but the future is bright. According to the article, AI’s strong ability to “categorize data” is enabling medical professionals to factor in vastly more amounts of data to improve diagnostics. This includes data from medical imaging analysis, patient medical records, and genetics information. Robot-assisted surgery that makes more precise incisions, virtual nursing assistants, and automated administrative workflow solutions are moving from concept to reality around the world in healthcare.


The energy industry is changing the way it manages its equipment and operations using AI. This includes predictive analytics solutions that can improve maintenance, help prevent downtime and extend the life of mission-critical equipment, ensuring a good customer experience. The industry is also using AI to quickly analyze massive amounts of sensor data to help improve safety and assist in compliance.

Is your business benefiting from artificial intelligence? To learn more about how AI is changing our world, check out this webinar on real-world AI examples, featuring TIBCO Chief Analytics Officer Michael O’Connell.