Understand the Terms behind the Tech: Key AI Phrases 

Blame it on science fiction or even poor communication from the technology industry, but artificial intelligence (AI) is often misunderstood. To put it plainly, artificial intelligence is not here to overthrow the human race. It is not even here to take our jobs. In fact, artificial intelligence is here to help. 

As a first step in understanding how artificial intelligence can help your dealership, you should understand what the phrase “artificial intelligence” means, along with understanding several other key phrases used to describe related concepts. 

What is artificial intelligence? 

Artificial intelligence is defined as any intelligence demonstrated by a machine that leads it to the solution of a given problem. It is a technique that enables machines to mimic human behavior. Some well-known examples of AI include Google spam filters and Amazon preference recommendations. Even Facebook has implemented AI bots to proactively identify posts that could indicate suicidal tendencies. 

There are two subsets of artificial intelligence: machine learning and deep learning. Understanding these subsets can give you a better understanding of AI.  

  • Machine Learning: A statistical method that enables machines to improve with experience. Using algorithms to parse data, machine learning determines a course of action or prediction about something in the world. Think of it as automating the learning process. Maybe the best example of machine learning is Spotify. Spotify’s algorithms take a listener’s preferences into account, then looks at other listeners with similar preferences to suggest recommendations for new music. 
  • Deep Learning: A subset of machine learning, deep learning algorithms perform a task repeatedly, adjusting a little each time to improve outcomes. Think machine learning on steroids. One of the most common examples of deep learning is Apple’s Face ID. The iPhone camera captures thousands of data points to create a depth map of an individual’s face while also performing an analysis to identify a person looking at the phone. Voice recognition like Siri and Alexa are other examples of deep learning. 


The main difference between machine learning and deep learning is the depth to which the system can autonomously teach itself. 


What type of data can AI learn from?  

You’ve probably noticed that in order for AI to offer solutions to problems, it needs to learn from data inputs. There are two primary types of data AI can use: deterministic data and probabilistic data.  

  1. Deterministic Data: The most accurate data, deterministic data refers to information that is known to be true, for example when a customer inputs information such as name, address, zip code, phone number or credit card. 
  2. Probabilistic Data: This type of data includes at least some unknowns and is used to forecast probabilities. Weather forecasting is an example of probabilistic data. 


AI can use both probabilistic and deterministic data to give end-users likely outcomes, recommendations and improved analyses over human learning. 

What can AI do for you? 

While it is useful to understand concepts and definitions, the most important thing to understand about artificial intelligence is how it can help your dealership. Today’s artificial intelligence tools help dealers analyze the following:  

  • Buying Signals: AI can help you see which customers are likely looking to buy even before they submit an online lead or call the store. By analyzing customers’ online behavior, artificial intelligence tools build customer profiles and offer insights so you can speed up your deal closings and improve customer trust.  
  • Engagement Strength: Artificial intelligence can also help you better understand how a salesperson is performing in the CRM. Using a sophisticated data model, AI analyzes salespeople’s engagement with leads, allowing you to manage talent, measure productivity and identify quality leads that may be dying due to lack of follow-up.  
  • Sentiment Analysis: AI gives dealers valuable insights into their customers’ interactions with sales staff. By analyzing inbound text and email messages, artificial intelligence can flag high priority messages and prevent critical communications from falling through the cracks. When you understand which messages are trending positively and negatively, you can keep your salespeople accountable, identify opportunities and nurture better customer relationships. 


Artificial intelligence is a complicated topic. Without a basic understanding of the terminology, the technology can be difficult to grasp. By knowing a few of the key terms and differences between similar phrases, you can use AI to help you improve customer relationships, increase sales and build a better business.