The problem with AI/ML: best case it’s just as stupid as humans
For over 10 years I’ve been working with complex data systems that rely on AI and machine learning to automate tasks that are otherwise impossible for a single human being.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the latest buzzwords and seems like a “must have” for any tech company.
Oftentimes, what gets people excited about AI is that “machines could be just like humans”:
But ultimately humans are not the smartest creatures…
- We are not rational and are subject to multiple cognitive biases (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases). For example “optimism bias” that causes us to be more optimistic than we should about the future. Like that economist that said “stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau” just weeks before the 1929 market crash and great depression.
- Stephen Hawking even thinks that stupidity and greed will destroy humanity (http://www.express.co.uk/news/science/684211/Stephen-Hawking-larry-king-end-of-the-world)
So why are we so enthusiastic about creating machines that are as stupid as we are? There are multiple possible answers to this question- for example the same optimism bias from before that causes us to think that our problems will be solved- but the main point is that we need to be cautious when using buzzwords and ultimately understand what is the use case, the business problem, what are we trying to solve and is AI the right approach.
In a future post, I will expand on what you should consider when using AI (for example it’s only as good as the data it has to learn from). Stay tuned!