The Myths and Legends of Artificial Intelligence

By Special Guest
Noel Webb, Co-Founder of Karen.ai
December 27, 2016

Artificial intelligence, or AI, is the hot and trending topic everyone’s been talking about these days. Industries like healthcare, manufacturing, transportation and customer service are already seeing the benefits of embracing this type of technology and what it can do to make better, more efficient processes. By 2020, 85 percent of customer interactions will be managed without a human.

As AI starts to touch the industries of recruiting and HR, many experts have a lot to say about it before actively embracing what it can do. But, what is actually true about this type of technology and what is myth? Let’s take a look:

1. Intelligence Means Consciousness = Myth

The main thing AI is known for is intelligence, but due to miscommunication and misunderstanding, many feel that it results in the development of a consciousness. However, this is far from the truth. Roman Yampolskiy, director of the CyberSecurity Lab at the University of Louisville, explains it best when he says: “Intelligence is the ability to solve problems in any domain. Consciousness is something people claim they have. It has no practical applications, it doesn't do anything. In fact we can't even detect it, so it is not a scientific concept.”

However, that also doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Many are actually working to find the biological factors behind human consciousness to truly be able to understand and harness it. But, for now, even the fastest computer, the K Computer that can calculate 10 quadrillion calculations per second, will never be self-aware or have the conscious mind that humans are capable of. And, the same goes for AI.

2. AI Learns the Same Way Humans Do = Myth

Many of the common fears people have with AI stem from its potential ability to take over human jobs because it can function just like a human. This is simply not true. In fact, 80 percent of executives believe artificial intelligence improves worker performance and creates jobs. AI also learns by a process called machine learning, which is completely different than the way humans learn.

According to Guru Banavar, Technology Executive and head of the IBM team responsible for creating Watson, machine learning is the process of showing a system examples and having it extrapolate information from them:

“We can teach a computer to recognize a car, but we can't ask that same computer, 'How many wheels does that car have?' Or, 'What kind of engine does it have?' Can you ask anything else about what this car is made of or how it is made? None of those things are possible...Those are all far away,” Banavar said.

3. AI is a Walking and Talking Robot = Myth

Many individuals hear the words “artificial intelligence” and think of robots taking over like in a sci-fi movie. Yes, there are surely different types of robots being created in various industries, some that are even modeled after humans, but artificial intelligence is typically invisible to the user as it’s hidden in a computer system and only heard when called upon by voice recognition. In fact, 32 percent of executives say voice recognition is the most-widely used AI technology in their businesses.

For example, Karen, a recruiting assistant, offers candidate chat, ranking and match to bubble up candidates to the human recruiting team. It can further assist by recommending jobs to candidates for which they may be more qualified.

It can be difficult to accept new technology that could potentially change what you do at your job from day-to-day. But, despite what you’ve heard about artificial intelligence, it does come with great benefits. Debunking some of these myths about AI is crucial in order to help individuals realize the amazing impact AI can have on their jobs and organizations as a whole. The International Data Corporation estimates that the market for machine learning applications will reach $40 billion by 2020, and will generate more than $60 billion worth of productivity improvements for businesses. So, it’s time to become knowledgeable and understand the true ins and outs of AI.

What are some myths we missed? Let us know in the comments!

About the Author

Noel Webb is co-founder and CEO of Karen.ai (Your Cognitive Recruiting Assistant), the latest project from his role as Director of Product Innovation at Innosphere. A veteran of business development and out-of-the-box thinking, Noel has been a leader in his roles over the years for several companies, including Bam Digital, SpeakFeel and Agnition.

During his career as a technology leader, Noel has developed a passion for products and innovations and has been the driving force behind products such as: OOLYO, Tech & Design and TeamHQ. In addition, Noel has been a strategic advisor for high profile clients such as Torstar Digital, Syngenta, Toyota and Modis and helped them to build a product driven approach to business.




Edited by Alicia Young


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