Thursday, May 10, 2018

AI is scary but fun

HAL of Space Odyssey
I worked with AI, Artificial Intelligence, for several years in the junk mail business when I was creating computer models that would determine just where to find a catalog company's best and most profitable customers. Yes, it's been around for several years but wasn't really known outside that limited community of analysts and statisticians until recently. It worked. I purchased a computer program, all-told cost me $25,000, that literally did all my thinking in relation to telling my clients where to mail their catalogs. Output was very expensive, which limited those able to pay the price.

I tell you this to illustrate the fact that you can program a machine (most computers) to think like a human, draw conclusions and make valid predictions. In the same vein, it is possible for these same machines to perform normal household tasks, including what is in the Google AI article, making a call that sounds like a human being. Robots replaced human beings long ago on auto assembly lines, as well as other automated businesses. Remember HAL from Space Odyssey? Started out a team player but turns on his makers and controllers. This was 2001. We're way beyond this today.

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