Wednesday, September 13, 2017

AI and Machine Learning Madness

The hype around machine learning and AI is just off the charts these days. This reminds me of several years back when just about every software product started putting the term "Big Data" in front (or at the end) of all of their product literature and company tagline.

AI is the Art of Using ML at the Right Time and in the Right Context

Today, startups are claiming to change every industry and the world just because they put some "machine learning" inside their products. Machine learning has the potential to give software super powers, but alone it is does not create great software.

Listen, I am just as excited as the next geek about the potential of deep learning and the democratization of data science, but please stop putting machine learning in your company's slogan, like it was the secret ingredient that you were looking for. Sorry, this is becoming my new pet peeve.

Machine Learning, at the end of the day, is just one more tool in our arsenal of tools and skills needed to build more efficient and more intuitive solutions and services for our customers and for humanity as a whole. Infusing machine learning into your products is more than technology. It takes a new way of thinking and new of running engineering teams and engineering processes. 

A Great Product is Much More than AI

Please talk about the benefits of using AI/ML/DL, don't just say "because you are using machine learning" you are changing the world or have a better product. There is that little thing called building a product that delivers value to the end user that you still have to get right. And believe it or not, this still requires human creativity and execution. Claiming your infusing your product with ML will not necessarily make it a better product or the world a better place.

AI is in the Product - It Should not be the Product

I do believe that machine learning related technology will be in every future product, just like we have transistors in every computer today. Machine learning will allow us to build better and more efficient products. How you use the machine learning to build a great product will matter much more than the fact that you are using machine learning. Keep that in mind when you come up with your next startup tagline and company slogan!

End of rant.