Is AI scary?

Grrrr I am your replacement! Maybe?

You’ve probably heard a lot about AI. “AI is going to take our jobs!” – very insightful quote from any given member of the general public. Is this true though? I mean you keep hearing about it…”AI is going to take over the world” is another really good one, and by good I mean common, and not usually rooted in facts, or even an informed opinion. These days, it’s hard to know whether or not to believe what the mainstream media tells us. But, doing research on AI can be a little daunting, at least it was for me when I first started working in the field. AI is like any other topic really, get informed before making up your mind about it.

Working in the field has helped me understand AI better, especially where it’s at right now. But, with all of this AI hype going around, combined with Elon Musk’s rogue tweets, should we be worried? Well I am here to tell you that I am not going to answer that. And also, it depends. (You’re welcome for this ground-breaking insight…are you hooked in yet?). What I will do is provide you with information in an accessible way, as in, you don’t need to be a developer or engineer to understand. I am not a developer or engineer, so I couldn’t even be pretentious on this subject matter if i wanted to. But I don’t want to, because I think that it’s important for people to have a good understanding of things that have an impact on society. AI is one of those things, and it’s abstract and therefore can be difficult to understand in its application. If you are provided with information that you can understand, then you are empowered to make your own decisions around the topic.

At least this one identified something.

I work in Computer Vision in a marketing role. I’m not building AI architectures, but I need to understand them in order to do my job effectively. I found that understanding AI on a deeper level was a steep learning curve. When i first started working in the field a year ago, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Make sense? If not, then you know how I felt when I first entered the space. I work in Computer Vision, which is particularly controversial aspect of AI. Which I get, I mean who wants computers spying on us. I’m not going to try and sell you on Computer Vision, what I want to do is provide facts and debunk the media hype so we can all get a better idea of where AI is at currently, and what are the implications for society today and in the future.

Whether we need to be worried about AI or not is not a straight forward answer because AI is inherently abstract. This is why I don’t understand how people (especially uninformed people) can have such black and white opinions about it. (not saying that the “bad” aspects aren’t bad, they are, but lets take a deeper dive on what “bad” actually means in this space and whether things are actually bad or perceived to be bad). Let us have a healthy, informed debate. I’m not attached to any of my views and opinions, and they are always changing when I am presented with new information. I don’t claim to know everything, I’ve only scratched the surface, and begun to realize how much I don’t know. So why should you listen to me? Well you shouldn’t. I’m not here to preach, but what I want to do is present information and create an informed discourse about it.

I came up with this blog because a lot of people have a lot of questions for me when I tell them what I do for a living and which industry I work in. As you can imagine, my “small talk” conversations end up pretty complicated. It usually either turns into an uncomfortable conversation with people spewing their negative opinions all over me before I even finish talking about what i do, or their eyes glaze over, and honestly sometimes both. Nonetheless, its made me realize how little people actually know on this subject matter, yet remain to be highly opinionated on it. Well, I love a good debate, but small talk isn’t usually the time or place, so here I am.

So, is AI going to take over the world? Well, maybe this meme will make you feel better if you are worried about that:

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