Artificial Intelligence

You don’t have to pick up a technical journal to be exposed to articles about artificial intelligence, machine learning, autonomy, deep learning, and the like. This technology surrounds us today and is quickly becoming something we access on a daily basis – witness, SIRI, Alexa and other apps and things we not only use for convenience, but that we count on every day.

Because of the seemingly sudden ubiquity of artificial intelligence (commonly called AI) there is vastly more heat than light on this subject.

That’s why I found this MIT Technology Review article, “The Dark Secret at the Heart of AI,” so fascinating. It asks the crucial question, do we really know what AI is doing for us? Here are a few excerpts:

A car’s underlying AI technology, known as deep learning, has proved very powerful at solving problems in recent years, and it has been widely deployed for tasks like image captioning, voice recognition, and language translation. There is now hope that the same techniques will be able to diagnose deadly diseases, make million-dollar trading decisions, and do countless other things to transform whole industries.

But this won’t happen—or shouldn’t happen—unless we find ways of making techniques like deep learning more understandable to their creators and accountable to their users. Otherwise it will be hard to predict when failures might occur—and it’s inevitable they will.

This raises mind-boggling questions. As the technology advances, we might soon cross some threshold beyond which using AI requires a leap of faith. Sure, we humans can’t always truly explain our thought processes either—but we find ways to intuitively trust and gauge people. Will that also be possible with machines that think and make decisions differently from the way a human would? We’ve never before built machines that operate in ways their creators don’t understand. How well can we expect to communicate—and get along with—intelligent machines that could be unpredictable and inscrutable?

Want more on this fascinating subject? Follow the link to the article

And for a comprehensive report on the growing value of AI in business, read this Price, Waterhouse, Coopers report: “Sizing the prize What’s the real value of AI for your business and how can you capitalize?”