When someone says, "artificial intelligence," or AI, no doubt the image that comes to mind is J.A.R.V.I.S, Ironman's computerized right-hand man, or one of the human-like hosts in Westworld. But from a technology perspective, AI is perhaps our greatest business friend and partner.

AI has evolved a lot from the  original "thinking machines" of the 1950s and 1960s to today's "deep learning" tech. We utilize AI with every Google search, Lyft request, and Siri question, but there is so much more AI can offer businesses, and we have not even begun to explore its full potential. This unknown factor is one reason why AI remains such a mysterious (and to some, threatening) concept.

I find these technological advances provide us limitless opportunities. Many AI advancements can reduce much of the manual work and non-value added tasks in our businesses, such as automatically coding accounting transactions, asking Alexa for business stats to get our day started, or making it easier to calculate the time it takes to travel between customer appointments.

Although, some people fear that AI will take away their jobs, or create a "Big Brother" environment, the technology allows us to spend more time with our customers, employees, and team members to foster better human connections.

To get a better grasp of the often complex and evolving field of AI--and its role in business now and in the future--here are the top six Ted Talks on AI that explore how this technology can enhance how we think, create, work, and live.

1. "What AI is --and isn't"

This talk by educator and entrepreneur Sebastian Thrun is a great starting point. He discusses the basic concepts of AI, the progress of deep learning, why we shouldn't fear AI, and how society and businesses can benefit when machines do most of the everyday tedious work.

2. "The basics of AI for business"

AI pathfinder Philipp Gerbert helps dispel the myth of AI as a complex and mysterious tool for business. Here, he walks through the ABCs of AI and how it specifically can benefit your business and industry.

3. "Get ready for Hybrid thinking"

How does AI think? Engineer Ray Kurzweil explains how computers have begun to master human language similar to how our brain's neocortex operates. He believes this could be the next big leap in brain power as we tap into the computing power in cloud technology.

4. "How AI can enhance our memory, work, and social lives"

Tom Gruber, co-creator of Siri, shares his vision that soon AI can help people achieve high level performance in areas like creativity, perception, and brain function, an approach he calls "humanistic AI."

5. "How to get empowered, not overpowered by AI"

For people who believe AI may become too smart and takeover our jobs, MIT physicist Max Tegmark separates the myths from the realities and describes how we can seize the opportunity to make AI the best--rather than the worst--advancement humanity has ever experienced.

6. "How AI can bring on a second industrial revolution"

What new markets and business opportunities can AI bring forth? That's the question that digital visionary Kevin Kelly explores. He highlights three trends in AI that he feels need to be understood in order to tap into AI's power and guide it into new innovations. As he says in his talk, "The most popular AI product 20 years from now that everyone uses has not been invented yet. That means that you're not late."

AI is not something we should fear or ignore, but view it as a wonderful opportunity for growth. We have the potential to do much more and go further than we ever have in business, and AI can show the way. Take advantage of these AI advances and use them to find where there are pockets in your business for you to innovate and get ahead.