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What Is an Intelligent Database?

Alex Newth
Alex Newth

When traditional databases were used in early computers, they only contained basic data about records and transactions, like a simplified archive. These databases primarily used numeric data with the rare inclusion of text and no multimedia elements. In 1989, the intelligent database was created, which allowed many different file types to be added to the database. Later versions of the intelligent database included an artificial intelligence (AI) system that made searching and finding records much easier for the user.

Traditional databases began in the 1960s. These database systems, like modern versions, were created to simplify the task of inputting and storing data. Unlike modern databases, these traditional versions only included numeric data and sometimes used text, but often the two were not combined. There also were problems searching the database, because it could only find exact keywords and often led to inaccuracy.

Man holding computer
Man holding computer

In 1989, the concept of the intelligent database was postulated. This type of database overhauled the old concept and allowed administrators to store and use many more files. With this type of database, pictures, movies, numeric and text information, and other file types could be added to the database. Along with new media types, data mining features were added, because the database was now able to recognize patterns in user input and commonly seen data.

The benefit of using different media types allowed many industries and businesses to include new information in their databases. For example, traditional databases only allow a doctor to see a patient’s name and patient number, along with other snippets of numeric or text data. An intelligent database allows the doctor to pull up reports, charts, files, past medical procedures and other documents integral to caring for the patient.

Aside from new media, the intelligent database also includes an AI feature. In previous databases, if someone typed in a name or label wrong, the database would be unable to correct the entry. This is because the traditional database only recognizes exact keywords and cannot understand similar keywords. The AI system is able to correct an entry error and can create predictions based on trends it finds in data. It also commonly arranges results in descending order of popularity to help the user find the correct data quickly.

The intelligent database is the standard for most databases, but it is not an infallible system. If users ask extremely specific questions for which the database does not have enough data, or presents wordy questions with many potential keywords, the database may be unable to supply any information. If the user types in a direct question, the intelligent database will typically be able to formulate an answer based on present data and trends.

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