The A-Z of AI

Zeros & ones

The fundamental building blocks of computing.

0s and 1s are the foundational language of computers. Known as "binary code," they are the means by which AI systems process information.

Different versions of binary code have been around for centuries; for example, braille uses patterns of raised and inverted bumps to convey information to blind people. Morse code uses a series of long and short signals. Everything a computer does is translated into 0s and 1s that can be strung together into sequences to transmit information, whether it’s music, film, imagery, language or something else.

01001000 01100101 01101100 01101100 01101111 00100001 may not look like much to you, but this binary sequence spells out "Hello."

Two people sit beside each other on a bench. One of them talks to the other via a speech bubble loaded with 0s and 1s.

A binary approach to processing information can also be a limitation in AI: where systems handle extraordinary amounts of data to build an understanding of our world and solve problems that are rarely binary in nature.

As we head into the future and computers become increasingly capable, evolving into supercomputers and, someday, quantum computers, an opportunity for AI systems to become even more complex is opening up.