Demystifying AI

Lixar I.T. Tech

Artificial Intelligence promises a world of exciting possibilities. The term “AI” has come to mean a lot of things to a lot of people. To shed some light on AI and its meaning, we’d like to start by dispelling a myth.

First, it’s important to distill the term down to its essence. AI is around machines learning to perform human-like tasks. This is something they’ve been doing for years – things like recognizing handwriting so your mail gets delivered to the right place, categorizing large volumes of information, and predicting what text you might type next. It’s nothing new: the main difference is the speed at which the technology is evolving. Recent innovations in processing power combined with an unprecedented amount of data have shot AI into the stratosphere, which is why there has been so much fervor around the subject in recent months.

But, as we highlighted in a recent interview with John Weigelt, national technology officer and AI expert at Microsoft, job-related fears around AI may not be well founded:

“This conversation is not around replacing people, it’s around empowering people or making people better. We had the opportunity to talk with one of the leads from a truckers association, and we had a conversation around – hey, self-driving trucks are going to put your membership out of jobs. And the person revealed to us that quite to the contrary: it would make trucking far safer, those operators behind the wheel would be more like airline pilots, responsible for their load, loss prevention, customer service… So these jobs aren’t going away, they’re just augmented and made better through the use of these technologies.”

At its core, AI is a way to automate repetition. It’s a way to allow people to process information quicker and be more efficient. Contrary to much of the speculation, the intended use of AI is much more benign: to support and assist people in their jobs and their everyday lives. The key is approaching the topic in the right way: for Lixar, the “human in the loop” will always be critically important to seeing Artificial Intelligence roll out to its full potential in assisting people.

Communication is key, and well-rounded conversation has never been more important. At Lixar, we’ve learned it’s not a single skillset that designs and implements these solutions: it’s a diverse team of advisors, engineers, architects, scientists and visualists, and end-users that come together to create the best application of AI. Being informed and ready for conversation is crucial to ensure we’re on the same page and driving in the right direction. It’s a rare opportunity that we can see these things coming in advance and understanding where we want to go as a society and culture is paramount at this stage. AI is an accelerator to help you tackle common problems that we all face: too much data, too many tasks, and the need for insight, now.

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