Machine Learning — a 200b Market

Back in August, we talked about machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Recently, 60 Minutes spoke with the CEO of IBM, Virginia Marie “Ginni” Rometty. The information shared by Rometty further supports the belief that machines/computers like Watson, an IBM supercomputer that combines artificial intelligence (AI) and sophisticated analytical software is a “question answering” machine. The supercomputer is named after IBM’s founder, Thomas J. Watson. It will not replace people/workers, but rather, it will allow for a faster evaluation of millions of data points that humans could not do as quickly as a computer with machine learning and AI complexities.

The interviewer went on to ask if Watson will someday replace doctors, which Rometty quickly clarified to say,

“No, Artificial Intelligence is just part of the solution. The goal is to make decision making better and faster. It isn’t to replace anyone but to augment. Watson is about augmenting for everyday decisions. In fact, Watson is taught by major institutions. The way it works is that the doctor assists Watson to read all journals and your tests. It can understand and reason, show hypothesis, and validate data. A doctor can hold a couple of documents but Watson can store millions. Your doctor will have time to look at this information. Again, augmenting.”

For example — Watson watches thousands of different movies and is calculating how people respond to each. Based on this collective information, Watson can predict how people will react when a new movie is to be introduced. The time saved is tremendous, however, many have asked if this is an example of how machines can stifle creativity.

Some well-known critics of machine-learning in the industry are Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk, who have discussed the dangers of machine learning. “The short-term impact of AI depends on who controls it, the long-term impact depends on whether it can be controlled at all.”-said Stephen Hawking. This doesn’t mean machine learning cannot be extremely helpful, even groundbreaking to human technological/medical advancement. It just means the progress needs to be regulated and cautious.

“Artificial Intelligence is just part of the solution. The goal is better decision making.” — Virginia Marie “Ginni” Rometty.

Everyone is talking about the advanced being made in IA. Just today, the CEO of GE, Jeffrey Immelt, was quoted on CNBC as saying “IA is a 200b market. Computer Science is the new language and we are ready for this new direction”.