Artificial Intelligence Isn’t Magic

The coronavirus is helping to erode the hype around artificial intelligence; data scientists get the axe and some ‘old-fashioned’ solutions work better.

Artificial Intelligence Isn’t Magic
Ruth Gwily

What do you do when a sudden break from past trends profoundly reorders the way the world works? If you’re a business, one thing you probably can’t do is turn to existing artificial intelligence.

To carry out one of its primary applications, predictive analytics, today’s AI requires vast quantities of relevant data. When things change this quickly, there’s no time to gather enough. Many pre-pandemic models for many business functions are no longer useful; some might even point businesses in the wrong direction.

AI has seemed to many experts like some kind of magic sauce that could be poured over any business process to transform it into a moneymaking Terminator, an unstoppable deliverer of self-driving cars and destroyer of white-collar work. As the date for those types of disruption continues to be pushed back, it’s clear that AI isn’t progressing as fast as we were once told, and that it won’t be a cure-all.

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