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Stuttgart, Deutschland — Photo by @martzzl

Disenchanting the AI Hype

Less magical does not mean less meaningful

It is important that we become more certain about what the field of artificial intelligence can contribute with right now and what needs further research. A very recent example could certainly be with facial recognition used in policing in the United States. IBM, then Amazon and later Microsoft decided to suspend the sales and use of these technologies for a year. When consequences can be seen more clearly the world becomes less magical for a moment, however that does not mean it has to be less meaningful.

“The hype around AI, among those who actually use it, is subsiding.”

Still, the author argues through conversations with Rachel Roumeliotis, a vice president at O’Reilly Media, that despite magical notions AI can be useful for mainly three reasons.

  • Unlocking phones with faces or fingerprints.
  • Assisting humans in making decisions.
  1. Airbnb’s layoffs included at least 29 full-time data scientists, according to its directory of those let go.
  2. SharpestMinds founder Edouard Harris. Hiring for such roles has slowed significantly, down by 50% since before the pandemic, he adds. On the other hand, that means there’s still demand, though it’s diminished.

An algorithm to predict the best way to route goods through a supply chain or the buying habits of shoppers can break down during events like the coronavirus pandemic.

What the author discusses is the attitude of certain AI researchers describing it as ‘bullish’ in regards to the long-term value of AI:

Written by

AI Policy and Ethics at Student at University of Copenhagen MSc in Social Data Science. All views are my own.

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