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Pragmatic AI: Starting With AI

 
Rancher
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Hi Noah,

I have a confession: I am on the fence with the whole concept of AI. On the one hand it fascinates me with the exciting possibilities for it's use (think of the possible contributions it can make in the medical world with surgeries, for example...but on the other hand I fear some of the possible repercussions it introduces (e.g. AI used in autonomous cars - the idea of a driver-less vehicle sharing the roads and highways with us frankly scares me).

Having delved into this yourself, I am interested to know your opinion on where you see AI is going, and whether it will truly fully integrate into so many aspects of society.

Once again congratulations on your book, and all the best!
 
Greenhorn
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Randy,

I think there will be at least a couple of flavors of AI.  There is "moonshot" AI, where there are people working on projects like completely autonomous vehicles and greater than human intelligence.  My guess is things won't be exactly what we imagine because guessing the future is notoriously difficult (to channel Yogi Berra).

What I do see is inevitable is "Pragmatic AI", which is intelligent, or enhanced automation.  Automation is a multiple century trend and the examples are too numerous to mention.  Machine Learning is mostly about predicting a value and discovering hidden patterns.  Enhanced automation combines the multiple century trend and adds the ability to do those things.  A great example is the semi-autonomous driving mode in a car.  This isn't "full moonshot AI", but it is "enhanced automation", and makes the user of the automation's live much better.

Google GMail has been slowly introducing features like suggested replies to messages and auto-completion of entire phrases while typing.  The email isn't writing itself, but parts of a tedious task are automated.  I would put this in the pragmatic AI area or "enhanced automation".

I think there are incredible opportunities for huge sections of the population to be "pragmatic AI" practitioners because they see automation possibilities that could be "enhanced" by using AI.  They don't necessarily need to even know how Deep Learning works, to create that solution, just as the factory owner doesn't need to have a Phd in Robotics.  Google is a big advocate of this approach and they call this "democratizing AI".  And I agree, this will happen, and I believe it will happen before "moonshot" AI.  

So, this book is a lot about that topic with examples to get people started.




 
Randy Maddocks
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So, this book is a lot about that topic with examples to get people started.  



Interesting points Noah, thanks, and I believe the book will definitely appeal to the part of me that does see the possibilities with AI!

 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
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