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If you had asked me a year or two ago when Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) would be invented, I’d have told you that we were a long way off. I wasn’t alone in that judgment. Most experts were saying that AGI was decades away, and some were saying it might not happen at all. The consensus is — was? — that all the recent progress in AI concerns so-called “narrow AI,” meaning systems that can only perform one specific task. An AGI, or a “strong AI,” which could perform any task as well as a human being, is a much…


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It’s a bright day in Afghanistan. A small group of mujahidin is trekking through the mountains. They carry their Kalashnikov rifles on their shoulders, but they are not especially worried. The nearest enemy unit is several hours away. So high in the mountains, they would see them coming from a long distance. There are other dangers, though. Several thousand feet above their heads, a small unmanned plane is cruising unseen. After only a short observation period, it fires a Hellfire missile at supersonic speed. The militants have no time to react. …


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Last year, Reuters broke the news that Amazon had been working on a secret AI recruiting tool that showed bias against women. I found it interesting as a case study of an AI project with broad implications for business people and machine learning professionals. After all, everyone has either hired or been hired at least once. We all have a stake in the recruiting game. Sadly, most reporting was sensationalist trash, and the news cycle quickly moved on.

It seems nobody tried to answer the question of how a company of the caliber of Amazon — with seemingly infinite resources…


The Sami tribes of northern Scandinavia have between 180 and 300 different words for snow, types of snow, tracks in the snow and the uses of snow. Sommeliers use dozens of different words to describe wines, including flamboyant, flabby, toasty, charcoal, and laser-like. Likewise, data scientists have many concepts to discuss data, types of data, and the uses of data.

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I suspect most mortals find data discussions esoteric. I spend my days with people who obsess about data, and I hear them moan about it every day. There are some things that all good data scientists know that regular human…


Understanding the similarities between machine learning and animal training shed lights on the possibilities and limitations of AI

Machine learning is not the same thing as human learning. I find that the distinction often gets lost in discussions about artificial intelligence. Most machine learning professionals don’t know anything about wetware learning, and most educational psychologists and pedagogy professionals don’t know anything about how machines learn. I think that a sad state of affairs. Even a high-level understanding of the difference between human and machine learning can clarify a lot of common misconceptions.

First of all, we need to understand that humans learn in many different ways. …


Mathematical modeling is the real power of data science

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In the last post, I wrote that data science was mostly a rebranding of other pre-existing fields. Among the professions that largely rebranded themselves, we find the data analytics crowd. Many company departments called “business analytics,” “data analytics,” “business intelligence,” or “advanced analytics,” are now called data science.

That explains why some skeptics would say that “data science is just hyped-up data analytics.”

While I’m sure there are some fakers, I think that view is wrong-headed.

First of all, there are some superficial level differences. Data analytics professionals are mostly experts…


Data Science is a hyped-up rebranding or several pre-existing fields and techniques


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Theodoros Evgeniou, a professor of decision science and technology management at INSEAD, thinks that the AI revolution might be 20 years late.

According to research on technological adoption, most significant technological changes take about 50 years from the lab to widespread adoption in society. However, as we wrote in the last post, the famous Dartmouth workshop that kickstarted the study of artificial intelligence happened in 1956. 63 years ago. Statistical learning theory, the mathematical theory that underpins modern machine learning and deep learning, was mostly developed in the 1980s. 30 years ago. …


Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a children story. It doesn’t exist.

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GIF from https://giphy.com/

Kids love Santa Claus. He has a funny beard and outfit. More importantly, he brings gifts. When children finally learn that Santa was a lie, the news is often devastating. But when the gifts continue to come the next year, they quickly get over it.

Similarly, I think that AI is a sci-fy lie. But like Santa Claus, it’s a lie that brings gifts.

Why am I saying that Artificial Intelligence doesn’t exist?

I think it’s helpful to start from the beginning. In 1956, the field of computer science was still young, but researchers were optimistic. Marvin…

Julien Lauret

Co-founder of Karetis (www.karetis.com). Entrepreneur, data scientist & management consultant

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