The term Big Data is out of fashion. Welcome the new kid in town: Artificial Intelligence — in short AI. Sharing the faith of the previous buzzword it means: “everything and nothing”. In the public discourse it now roughly translates to “everything with data and something digitalization and something neural networks”.
At MADANA we are deeply passionate about the potential of data and analytics. However, we do have our issues with the way the term is being used lately and see multiple problems that arise from this imprecise language. In this post, we want to explain why we think that the current perception of the term “Artificial Intelligence” is problematic.
Currently, we’re in the stage of the evolution of artificial intelligence in which the technology has surpassed our formerly rather low expectations. When this happens, as has happened with other emerging technologies in the past, we start leapfrogging those exact expectations which in turn causes the following two problems:
1. We produce dystopian stories of future mankind. In this particular case: The machines will destroy us or rule us.
2. We start looking to cash in by applying the new technology in the most haphazard ways possible.
So, what do we do about them?
Welcoming our new AI Overlords
Firstly, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page about what AI really is. That starts with making sure we all agree on what it’s not:
Computers aren’t capable of thinking. Most of what you read about the machines that rise up and decide that humanity must be wiped out is pure fiction. Everything a computer does is ultimately designed and programmed by a human being. Self-consciousness is not a feasible option. Hell, we don’t even know enough about our own self-consciousness, how are we supposed to put the machine equation together? We just guess. That is why we create what seems like self-fulfilling prophecies of doom.
However, remember that the same gap-filling measure — that machines have to be programmed by humans — is also their own biggest weakness. That’s what Elon Musk is really worried about. We humans can certainly develop systems with enough automation and enough stupidity to achieve some frightening results — still I am 99.9% sure that we are intelligent enough not to let a robot-apocalypse be the end of us all…
With all that being said, what is something anyone that wants to work with AI technology is in need of? In other words, what is the fuel of Artifical Intelligence? It’s data.
Instead, let’s welcome our Data Overlords
Data is the cure and the disease at the same time. It is the cure as it solves a lot of the problems we are currently facing, and it is potentially a disease if the wrong group of people gets a hold of it. The following video depicts this in a very detailed manner.
The issue of data ownership, as you can tell by the video, has wide-reaching implications for our future. This is why regulations are most definitely needed, however, this won’t be enough. Innovative new start-ups and technologies focusing on data privacy, ownership, anonymization, and analytics are now more important than ever. Represented by PrivTech, an emerging market niche, these companies are all committed to avoiding the dystopian future of digital dictatorships…
More on this next time!
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