Thanks to a combination of science fiction stories and sensationalist predictions of a future overrun by robots, artificial intelligence (AI) has long had negative mythology attached to it. Indeed, the mainstream media is no longer afraid to consider the notion that AI will eventually amount to our downfall as a species.

Fortunately, the reality is much less dystopian. To help you get the facts straight about AI and to understand what it might mean for the world of business, we’ve debunked a few myths and misconceptions:

Myth #1: AI is a kind of replica of the human brain

At the moment, AI is largely designed to solve problems in a logical fashion rather than acquire the complex thought processes of which the human brain is capable. Whilst certain kinds of machine learning are based on aspects of the brain (such as image recognition technology), technology experts are simply nowhere near able to replicate this elusive human body organ.

Myth #2: Intelligent machines are able to learn autonomously

Whilst machine learning technologies are able to process data on their own within certain constraints, it is important to understand that data scientists have a huge amount of influence over how this learning takes place. They must set out the initial problem, supply the data, remove the potential for bias, and continue to update the software on a regular basis.

Myth #3: AI will only replace unskilled jobs

Whilst it has long been established that AI has the potential to replace certain jobs that require little complex thinking, it may also be able to take over more difficult tasks in the future.

Healthcare imaging is one such task that may soon be usurped by AI. Indeed, AI technologies are able to spot malignant diseases much more quickly than radiologists. Within the financial industry, meanwhile, robo advisors have been shown to manage wealth and detect fraud very efficiently. In this way, it is important that businesses think about how job profiles will be adjusted in the future, as well as any necessary retraining that may be needed.

Myth #4: Businesses do not require an AI strategy

Whilst AI won’t be taking over the human race any time soon, it is vital that businesses have a strategy in place to make the most of improving AI technologies. Indeed, failing to keep up with automation could put businesses at a competitive disadvantage.