An Optimist at the Helm of IBM Watson Research – A Review of Aaron Shapiro’s Recent Work on Neural Network Models and Artificial Intelligence
Over the last twenty years the computer industry has seen unprecedented advancement in the realm of artificial intelligence (AI) models and machine learning through the development of various methods and software packages.
While there has yet to be a singular “winning approach” for AI in the fields of machine learning and data analytics, the industry is moving forward at a rapid pace, with many people now predicting that AI techniques will soon be better than humans, and may one day even be a significant portion of people’s jobs!
That is not the case though. In fact, the trend is reversing and today, AI is being viewed with much more hostility. While some people are now heralding it as humanity’s “wonderful new friend” others are simply being skeptical and pessimistic about our emerging technology.
Of this pessimistic contingent it can be said that the majority of individuals or organizations with whom I have spoken during my career have been so-called “disruptive” thinkers that are creating new products, ideas, and services that will challenge established companies and industries. While these individuals are often the true innovators of the future and the catalysts of change in many industries and communities, my own experiences have taught me that there is a large and important number of individuals and organizations who are not well suited for the technology.
Some of these innovators have been called “pessimists” and viewed as negative people who are negative minded, pessimistic, and cynical about the future, while others have been portrayed as either having unrealistic views of the future, or as dangerous “cynics”, who fear the future and believe that the present will continue on forever.
I see this as a common bias of individuals who are skeptical of a new product or new idea. For a long time, the main method people used to evaluate the “success” of a new product or idea was to evaluate whether or not it was a “winner”. When the concept of “winning” is applied to a new technology, the market is easily seen as being either “over-enthusiastic” or “skeptical”.
As anyone who has ever attempted to go into a hardware store, to buy a new computer,