Whats the fuzz with AI?

A lot of people blindly swallow the medias portrait of Artificial Intelligence and what it can be used for, and I get why. The mathematics involved in Neural Networks are so complex, that not even the people who invented it knows exactly what is going on. By all means, it is artificial.

But even if you haven't obtained an honorary doctorate in mathematics for your findings in set-theoretic definitions of natural numbers, I think it's important that you learn the basics, and then use this to filter the  bs-image the media portrays it as.

First, you need to remember the fact that a computer is able to do repetitive tasks over and over, for ever and ever. It will keep doing the same task, without getting tired, and without asking for a break. If you feed it the same inputs, it will produce the exact same outputs. Humans could essentially do the same, but as we all know, humans are prone to, at some point, make an error. If you're working as an archivist, your ability to file stuff, will on any given day be influenced by many factors. Did you sleep well, was your coffee to hot, is your girlfriend an idiot, your age, your vision, the sun, etc.. I think you get it, the list goes on! Whereas a computer isn't influenced by anything.

So, when someone states that an AI algorithm is going to solve everything, think bullshit. Two things:
1) The AI is only as good as the guy who developed it.
2) AI is currently not able to "learn".

I won't bother addressing the prior as this is obvious. But number 2 is interesting. People use the term "learn" about algorithms. What they fail to mention, is that it has nothing to do with learning. It has everything to do with finding the best response based on the inputs. Now keep in mind, all responses have to be pre-programmed into the algorithm. In that sense, it does not learn, it just searches through possible options, and then selects the "best" response. Now, if there is no "best" reponse, the algorithm can do anything. In the AlphaGo documentary on Netflix (seriously watch it, its really really good), the algorithm does something stupid in the 4th game against Lee Sedol. Here AlphaGo chose the wrong option. This move would have never been made by a human being.

What i'm trying to get at, is that AI is really good at solving typical repetitive tasks, and at it, it will beat any human, any day! But the inputs that cannot be fixed by the algorithm, still needs the human mind. And the last bit, is what the media (and a lot of the C-level executives that walk around) forgets. I hope this small piece of writing have shed a little light on the matter.

I'm really fond of AI, and it what i do for a living, but knowing what it cannot be used for, is more important than knowing what it can be used for! Because it surely isn't a tool for everything.

I'll finish this piece of with a quote.

"If you only have a hammer, everything become nails"

Have a good weekend!
/Rasmus