Throw some AI on it…🤔

In Kevin Kelly’s TED talk: How AI can Bring on a Second Industrial Revolution, the Founding Executive Editor of Wired Magazine, says, “So we have many ongoing tendencies right now, and I think one of the chief among them is this tendency to make things smarter and smarter. I call it cognification — also known as artificial intelligence, or AI. And I think that’s going to be one of the most influential developments and trends and directions and drives in our society in the next 20 years.” We are only at the beginning of our own comprehension of the bounds of AI applications and how it will impact our future. So far, we know we can use AI to enhance decision making on predicting sales leads most likely to close with Salesforce’s Einstein, reduce payment defaulting and credit risk, enhance insights in cognitive psychology and repel cyber attacks. In fact, I was most struck by Kelly’s free startup advice, “So everything that we had electrified, we’re now going to cognify. And I would suggest, then, that the formula for the next 10,000 start-ups is very, very simple, which is to take x and add AI.” So, let’s try to paint a mosaic about Artificial Intelligence in ten perspectives.

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  1. Kevin Kelly – Wired Magazine Founding Executive Editor said: “We will soon arrive at the obvious realization that “smartness” is not a single dimension, and that what we really care about are the many other ways in which intelligence operates — all the other nodes of cognition we have not yet discovered.”
  2. Jeff Bezos – Amazon Founder & CEO said in the 2016 letter to shareholders: “Pre-packaged versions of popular deep learning frameworks running on P2 compute instances (optimized for this workload), customers are already developing powerful systems ranging everywhere from early disease detection to increasing crop yields. And we’ve also made Amazon’s higher level services available in a convenient form. Amazon Lex (what’s inside Alexa), Amazon Polly, and Amazon Rekognition remove the heavy lifting from natural language understanding, speech generation, and image analysis. They can be accessed with simple API calls — no machine learning expertise required. Watch this space. Much more to come.”
  3. Elon Musk – Tesla, SpaceX and Neuralink Co-founder and CEO said: I have exposure to the most cutting edge AI, and I think people should be really concerned by it,” Musk said at the National Governors Association. “AI is a fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization in a way that car accidents, airplane crashes, faulty drugs or bad food were not — they were harmful to a set of individuals within society, of course, but they were not harmful to society as a whole.”
  4. Stuart Russell told Quanta magazine: “Then there’s the question, if we get it right such that some intelligent systems behave themselves, as you make the transition to more and more intelligent systems, does that mean you have to get better and better value functions that clean up all the loose ends, or do they still continue behaving themselves? I don’t know the answer yet.”
  5. Jane X. Wang – Senior Research Scientist Google DeepMind tweeted: “Datasets reflect the culture, and classification tasks can’t help but reflect our cultural biases, algorithmic forensics needed.”
  6. Bill Gates – Microsoft Founder told a 2018 World Economic Forum audience: “AI is simply better software,” Gates continues. “In these high value environments — whether it is an operating room, a jail, a factory, a courthouse — you will be able to transcribe everything that is being said, and you will be able to see things if they are safety violations even a construction site.”
  7. Ginni Rometty – IBM CEO describes : “This is really another key point about professional AI. Doctors don’t want black-and-white answers, nor does any profession,” said Rometty told Bloomberg. “What a doctor wants is, OK, give me the possible answers. Tell my why you believe it. Can I see the research, the evidence, the ‘percent confident’, Rometty continues. “The first cancer Watson took almost a year. We are down to less than 30 days now. By the end of this year, Watson will have been trained on what causes 80 percent of the world’s cancers.”
  8. Jackie Snow – Associate Editor for Artificial Intelligence, MIT Technology Review, describes on the Review’s 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2018 List: “Artificial intelligence has so far been mainly the plaything of big tech companies like Amazon, Baidu, Google, and Microsoft, as well as some startups. For many other companies and parts of the economy, AI systems are too expensive and too difficult to implement fully. What’s the solution? Machine-learning tools based in the cloud are bringing AI to a far broader audience. Microsoft, which has its own AI-powered cloud platform, Azure, is teaming up with Amazon to offer Gluon, an open-source deep-learning library. Gluon is supposed to make building neural nets—a key technology in AI that crudely mimics how the human brain learns—as easy as building a smartphone app.”
  9. Ian Goodfellow – GAN Creator and Staff Research Scientist Google Brain, shared at EmTech 2017 : “It’s been a little bit of a fluke, historically, that we’re able to rely on videos as evidence that something really happened,” on AI technology, generative adversarial networks (GANs), which traverses a technological boundary making imagination possible for computers.”
  10. Stephen Hawking – Physicist and Cosmologist shared at the 2016 Web Technology Summit: “Success in creating effective AI, could be the biggest event in the history of our civilization. Or the worst. We just don’t know. So we cannot know if we will be infinitely helped by AI, or ignored by it and side-lined, or conceivably destroyed by it,”

What do you think? Don’t ask these people because they do not exist. These are AI imagined and conjured up celebrities.


Aside: If you want to make sure you have an inclusive view of AI, follow these thinkers too…Meet These 20 Incredible Women Advancing AI


  1. HenryChenChen · ·

    Thank you for the different perspectives, which got me thinking. And I agree with Elon Musk ‘s point that AI can affect the existence of human civilization. And I think it affects our civilization in many ways, especially in the early stage of AI. For example, in the recent self-driving car incident, I personally think the legislation and ethics can’t keep up with the speed of technology. When such incident happens, some questions are not so clear: who should be responsible, the car or the passenger? and when the pedestrian and the passenger are both in danger, who should the self-driving car protect?
    I also like his point that some bad things like airplane crashes, faulty drugs or bad food were not harmful to society as a whole. AI can benefit people, but it seems unclear what impact will it have on the existence of human civilization.

  2. tylercook95 · ·

    nice post! I think that AI is definitely a controversial subject. As you see from the quotes some people think that it is very dangerous and something that we would be more careful of than we currently are. However, many other people seem to think that it is a great step into more intelligent computers with better solutions for humanity. I worry that we won’t be able to control the computers eventually as the ted talk mentioned. However, I really do see the benefit of having AI assist doctors in the medical field and help people find cures to diseases in a much quicker manner. I think that since AI is such a double-edged sword people are going to have to decide how much we are willing to risk on AI. Since I don’t think people are going to stop producing AI, we are going to have to see how we will be able to keep up with them once they are smarter than us. It worries me that people like Stephen Hawking weren’t even sure if this would be a good thing. I guess only time will tell, cool post!

  3. markdimeglio · ·

    Nice post! I really enjoyed hearing about the different perspectives! I have been thinking a lot about AI and its future effect on our society. I think that the technology will create a lot of economic gains for the world but will also cause tons of growing pains. What scares me most is how little knowledge leading thinkers on the subject have on what effect hyper-intelligent AI could cause. Its obvious from your writing above that Elon Musk is quite worried. Ian Goodfellow also possesses quite polarized view on the topic.

    Hopefully the benefits greatly outweigh the negatives.

  4. roarkword · ·

    This post really did expose me to a diverse array of opinions about AI and I appreciate you taking the time to consolidate so many opinions. Bill Gates’ quote was the most intriguing to me: “AI is simply better software.” It shows how he feels we should re-evaluate the conception of software, and this is telling given that he was one its early pioneers. I also agree with @markdimeglio that these leaders should be more concerned with effect hyper-intelligent AI could have rather than just conjecturing on the prospective business effects that they pose in the near future. Side note, the fact that those people can plausibly be real celebrities is right there on the line of the creepy/cool spectrum.

  5. Nice post. Fits well with our discussion for tonight!

  6. mpduplesmba · ·

    I think this wide spectrum of perspectives is evidence that no one really knows where AI and other new technologies are heading. Along these lines, something that struck me from Kevin Kelly’s Ted Talk is when he states that there are no AI experts right now compared to what we’ll know in 20 years. So while all of the folks you highlight are the current experts and influencers in the field, they might not be in 5, 10, or 20 years. Moving forward I think it will be best if these leaders really consider, debate, and work through both the benefits and concerns of AI, instead of being strictly set in their currently polarized views.

  7. bc_eagle1 · ·

    Nice post and great flow and using a new template. Very smart and engaging how you amplify perspectives. AI will continue to grow and the goal will be to make the use of it simpler (in business at least) and make it relevant for a long time. Make it inimitable. Which will be very hard without a marketing element.

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