Artificial Intelligence

Getting Started with AI

Remember “HAL” from 2001: A Space Odyssey? AI, or Artificial Intelligence, might still conjure up images of robots taking over the world. Today’s AI, though still in its infancy, is becoming more helpful and accessible. In fact, you might already be using it! If you’re curious about AI but not sure how to try it out, here are some ideas for you.

Virtual Assistants

Think of your smartphone’s voice assistant — Siri or Google Assistant — or Amazon’s Alexa. They use AI to understand your questions and complete simple tasks like setting reminders or playing music. 

How to Try Using a Virtual Assistant:

Which Virtual Assistant(s) you have will depend on your device(s). Devices that are set up correctly will “wake up” when a specific phrase is spoken, or when a certain button is pressed.
Ask your AI assistant to remind you of something important. Examples: 
•    “Alexa, set a reminder for every Saturday at 10 a.m. to water the orchid.”
•    “Hey, Siri, remind me when I get home to call Mary Jones.”
•    “Hey Google, remind me to take my medication at 8 pm.” 


Think of a chatbot as the next level-up from a search engine like Google. Chatbots excel at complex queries, the answers for which might span multiple sources. Rather than just giving you a list of links you would have to click on and read yourself, chatbots return answers in a more conversational, back-and-forth mode. Chatbots can assist with composing text, summarizing multiple articles, even with generating original images. Fun fact: The images in this article were generated using two different chatbots!

Chatbots are available as apps, as websites, or bundled with search tools like Bing and Google.

How to Try Using a Chatbot:

Do you have writer’s block? If you’re searching for just the right words, ask an AI chatbot tool like ChatGPTMicrosoft CoPilot, or Google Gemini for help. Here are some prompts you could use:
•    “Help me write a sympathy note to my friend whose 20-year-old cat just died”
•    “Help me apologize in a group text for a very unfortunate typo I made”

Why not give one of these tools a try? 

Microsoft CoPilot (sign in with your Microsoft account if you already have one)
Google Gemini (sign in with your Google / Gmail account if you already have one)

Ready to Have Your Mind Blown?

Here’s what I got when I gave Google’s Gemini Chatbot this request.

“Write a poem in iambic pentameter about how great technology is. Make it 4 lines long.”

“While I craft rhymes at your command,
With lines and wit at your behest,
True greatness lies in helping hand,
Not lines of code, a human test.”