Artificial intelligence technology is here to stay, despite “boom-and-bust” cycles seen in the technology since the 1950s and negative hype fuelled by blockbuster movies, experts from IBM and Salesforce said.
The AI Giants conference panel, which also included one of Google’s senior experts on the topic, highlighted the importance of educating consumers and businesses on the benefits of AI and machine learning technology.
Salesforce SVP of telecommunications and media John Carney said AI has “been hyped and it’s disappointing, even going back to the 50s there have been several boom and bust cycles with AI, but I think this time is different.”
The current ecosystem, he noted, is being driven by the exponential increase in computing power; low cost of systems; emergence of big data and smarter algorithms used for specific business cases; and huge investments by major players.
Carney concluded: “We can call this an AI spring, but it is here to stay.”
IBM chief digital officer Bob Lord agreed the hype around AI had not been helpful: “All the hype we hear is sensationalised by Hollywood.”
“People think all of a sudden we will have a doomsday scenario with AI and it’s the responsibility of all of us as IT professionals to hone and own the principles behind AI.” Lord added the impact of AI is only just becoming apparent: “AI will allow us to make decisions faster than we have before, it will provide us with insights into problems we never thought we could solve before.”
While AI can offer insights, Lord noted it will still be up to humans to use the technology to solve problems.
Google Assistant engineer Behshad Behzadi said the most urgent challenge to address was education of regulators and governments to inform them what AI – and machine learning – means for each sector it touches.
To address the issue “we have to all work together to come up with the right programme of solutions” while platform providers must “ensure the user is always in control,” in order to allay consumer fears.