Marketing promises that narrow AI can’t deliver

August 14, 2017 Sam DeBrule


Awesome, not awesome.

“…an autonomous car had been seen driving around Arlington County, Virginia seemingly without a human behind the wheel. Now, that’s currently illegal, so some persistent reporting revealed that the vehicle was, in fact, part of a study. The researchers admitted that “the drivers… [wore a car seat costume to appear] less visible within the vehicle, while still allowing him or her the ability to safely monitor and respond to surroundings.” Their aim: to understand how drivers and pedestrians react to cars that don’t appear to contain humans.” — Adam Tuss, Researcher Learn More on MIT Technology Review >

#Not Awesome
“We should not confuse what technology enables us to do with how much better off it makes us. Spreadsheets enabled analysts to construct much more intricate forecasts of stock prices and the economy, but didn’t make those forecasts any more accurate. AI may enable companies to better manage the risks of their products and actions, but those products and actions may not be more profitable. Many a CEO has wondered whether the money they spend on spreadsheet-wielding consultants yields any real value. Some day they may wonder the same thing about their AI-wielding consultants..” — Greg Ip, Economics Commentator Learn More on The Wall Street Journal >

What we’re reading.

1/ IBM made it safe for other tech companies to talk about AI, but employees and potential customers think Watson’s lofty promises are borderline unethical. Learn More on Gizmodo >

2/ When neural networks go off the rails, it serves as a hilarious reminder that computers aren’t actually better than us at everything. More on Slate >

3/ We’re all impatient when voice-based assistants like Alexa misunderstand us, but think about it, how well do you understand exactly what your friends mean to say? Learn More on MIT Technology Review >

4/ On a small family farm in Japan, Makoto Koike uses the skills he developed building autonomous car software to create an AI system that sorts cucumbers for his aging mother. Learn More on The New Yorker >

5/ Employees at all levels of an organization will be expected to hone managerial skills as the use of AI agents becomes more common. Learn More on Trello >

6/ The U.S. military continues to introduce AI technologies into new dimensions of warfare, and the government hasn’t yet created laws that completely govern when a computer can make its own decision to carry out lethal actions. Learn More on U.S. News >

7/ The United States is “overall stronger” than China in terms of AI development, but that gap continues to close rapidly. Learn More on WIRED >

Links from the community.

“NLP and the Coming Content Explosion” submitted by Walter Chen (@smalter). Learn More on Chatbots Magazine >

“Pretty Good Cryptography” by Abhishek Kothari (@akothari_mba). Learn More on Medium >

“Google Assistant vs. Siri: How Mental Models Constrain Innovation” submitted by Avi Eisenbeger (@aeisenberger). Learn More on Medium >

“The chatbots in our future” submitted by Samiur Rahman (@samiur1204). Learn More on Axios >

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Marketing promises that narrow AI can’t deliver was originally published in Machine Learnings on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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