AI is the future. AI is science fiction. AI is part of our everyday existence. All those statements are true… Still, here are  5 things you should know about AI:

1. AI is a BROAD umbrella term for it all

Artificial intelligence refers to “a broad set of methods, algorithms and technologies that make software ‘smart’ in a way that may seem human-like to an outside observer,” said Lynne Parker, director of the division of Information and Intelligent Systems for the National Science Foundation.

String’s Geek translation: AI are created with a set of code and commands to “imitate” human behaviour.

Machine learning, neural network, deep learning, computer vision, natural language processing, robotics and related topics are all part of the umbrella of AI.

2. AI is going to kill us on the streets says Elon

The amount of fear for AI is sky high, its as if we are living in the scenes of The Matrix or The Terminator, but I believe that these sci-fi films are being used as part of a bigger moral discussion.Through the morals lens of reality geek’dom; there are two tech titans fighting over AI’s impact on humanity.

To explain further, there are two moral discussion - the optimistic and the pessimistic. The optimists hope that we'll one day invent a superintelligence that solves every problem we can imagine and leads us into a utopian future where all of mankind's needs are met and everyone lives happily ever after. The pessimists are concerned that one tiny mistake along the way will lead to the swift end of the human race.

Though Zuck and Facebook had to recently kill off one of their bots because they were developing their own language, bots will bots. They are just being geared to be efficient AF.

3. Chatbots are not AI (yet)

Here's the other reality, currently our bots online don't have the IQ or EQ to be sentiment beings. What you see online are mostly chatbots with a tech stack of a decision tree, just check out the the 30,000s chatbots on Messenger. And chatbots are not AI, not yet anyway. In this String Report video, I chatted about how Chatbots are series of decision trees, think of it as messaging thread that gets triggered by a series of events.

When it comes to real, meaningful customer service conversations, the fact is that AI is just not good enough yet. Just avoid being like TayBot, I don’t blame the Taybot for spewing racist and sexist terms, the creators forgot to factors: that it should have a language filter system, and humans, well we have a history of ducking things up.

4. In the world of AI, there are 3 forms of superintelligence

AI expert Nick Bostrom, in his fantastic book, Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies, classifies three ways a superintelligence can operate:

  1. An “oracle” - where it can respond to questions with a high degree of accuracy

  2. A “genie” - it would do anything it is commanded to do and await for its next set of commands

  3. A “sovereign” - it would be assigned with an overarching goal. They also allowed to operate independently and make decisions about how best to accomplish that goal. 

5. Talk to Me AI

I never liked Siri, but doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate what she represents. She was the one who lead way in creating the wave of possibilities of where AI and voice can go next.

Incorporating voice interface will transform product design - and the best examples are Amazon Alexa,  Amazon Echo, Google Home. (watch the video Amazon Alexa vs Home)

Incorporating voice interfaces will transform product design. Now, it’s convenient and faster to give out voice commands to our phone. This year, based on Google, 20% of android users of enquiries were spoken - apparently, there are 20 billion spoken queries being made. That’s a lot of zero’s.

Case Study: Amazon plans to add Alexa to Whole Foods. 


Who knew that AI has such a range of possibilities and I’m only scratching the surface of it, from moral dilemmas to chatbots, to super IQ and voice assistants. Currently I’m going in a deep dive on machine learning and neura-link technology.


See you next week for more String Report, where we get high on cannabis.
String from the future

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