Editor’s note: Alexander Ferguson is CEO and founder of Raleigh and Charlotte-based YourLocalStudio.com, which is partnering with WRAL TechWire to present a series of in-depth interviews with thought leaders in the field of Artificial Intelligence as part of the firm’s new series UpTech. Here’s an introduction.

RALEIGH – Artificial intelligence, AI, machine learning, natural language processing, these words are making headlines every single day more and more. And not just for scientific or research purposes, but real business applications. We’ve interview a whole panel of AI experts, business leaders, CEOs, and entrepreneurs who are applying AI in their business today.

Taking a deep, deep dive into Artificial Intelligence: A new series to watch, read

In this video, we wanted simply to give you a taste of it. We started by asking them all one very special question, explain what is AI?

Some samples:

“If I was trying to explain it to my grandmother, I would probably just say it’s an enhanced way to automate things. That’s about a simple as I could probably make it.”

“I would say that AI is making machines do smart things. And being able to show them or teach them ways to do smart things.”

“If I was gonna describe it to my mother or someone from an earlier generation, it would be to try to map it to something they’re already familiar with like an assistant. That’s why we hear about Google Assistants and Alexa as an assistant, Siri as an assistant. You know, real case is probably something that we’re using every day. Googlemaps when you ask it for the location of the local movie theater is basically doing sort of AI work. In a real sense, you didn’t type in the exact name of that particular movie theater. Google’s AI had to say, well that thing that you wrote is I’m predicting that it is this particular movie theater and so I’m going to give you that address.”

“All sorts of document processing type of applications whether that’s contract analysis where you can automatically read a contract, a legal document and determine what kind of contract it is. Understand what kind of issues are in the contract.”

“Talking to my grandparents, you know, say hey look this is something, it’s another technology that’s gonna make your life easier by thinking a little bit deeper for you. You know when she sits down at the computer and gets on Pinterest for recipes, you know, she’s getting recipes that she likes and she’s not having to spend hours and hours digging through, you know where she used to go to the library and go look for a cookbook and flip through pages to entrees and say I want to cook a chicken entree. And Pinterest is presenting a lot of different recipes that are probable for her to like. That’s exactly how it is.”

“And today we are all awash in data and whether you are a company, a government, or a person, and this idea of having tools like AI and machine learning that can help me just see everyday what should I be paying attention to, what can I safely ignore, and what action should I take. Or, could I have an agent that represents my values that’s actually taking some kind of action without me even needing to be aware of it? Like in making sure I don’t overdraft my checking account or don’t miss my niece’s birthday. Little things like that are the incremental steps we can take with this technology that really do add a lot of value to our lives and do automate things that humans aren’t necessarily good at. So in that sense it really is augmenting us and making us better and giving us more fulfilling enjoyable lives.”

This was just a taste. Stay tuned as we share the full deep dive interviews we had with each one of our panel of experts and our upcoming episodes focused on specific topics that will transform the way you think about artificial intelligence. All this on Up Tech Report’s new series on AI.