Thursday, January 21, 2021

The AI Lesson for All of Us

There is no doubt that the brute force ML (aka deep learning) approach to achieve general AI or some level of human decision making by using more and more compute and more data has been successful over the past decade. 

I am fond of believing that there is more to AI than optimizing an objective function with more data and better hyper parameters - for example, integrating symbolic AI, knowledge graphs, causality...etc. However, trying to build systems to think the way we think we think may not be the future of AI, at least not yet. 

There is likely something beyond just bigger deep learning models - maybe it is software program synthesis or other genetically founded approaches - no one knows, as there is not enough research in these areas yet. But some form of AI is already here, self driving cars already use and construct 3D world models and utilize hand crafted rules mixed with deep learning sensor data analysis to give us the perception of AI decision making is going on. Efficiency also matters as we get into bigger and bigger models will billions of parameters. It is no joke how much energy some of the ML training (compute resources) that is required by many of these models (e.g. GPT-3). It is important to make sure we separate the hype (companies selling us on autonomous cars vs the value of some useful ML driver assistance) as companies use the AI hype to raise more capital but the reality is not aligned with the capabilities of generalized AI, at least in this current age of AI.

ML algorithms from the likes of Youtube and Facebook already manipulate our digital lives and behaviors with massive data they collect about us. Maybe AI is already here and in control and we are just the data simulation to generate more data for our AI overlords :) Anyway, my main point with sharing this post to share the post from Sutton (The Bitter Lesson) is to make us think about the data we control in business and enterprise world. Curating our data and more of it is what will still continue to drive ML and AI for the foreseeable future. So make sure to get your data quality and your data lakehouse BI/analytics in order ;)

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