Updated: Aug 28, 2019
reprint of a post I made for iWorker on May10,2019
Artificial Intelligence, or 'AI' is the buzzword of the year. What does AI mean to us Independent Workers? Are we going to be replaced by an algorithm?
I’ve been a computer programmer for almost fifty years now and all through my career I was told that a computer was going to replace me. Or was it a monkey? No, it was a computer, I remember.
Programmers were destined to go the way of dinosaurs. Since those days I’ve seen code-generators, 4GL development platforms, outsourcing and now Artificial Intelligence which will soon replace all software developers. Still hasn't happened.
First let’s get clear on what Artificial Intelligence really is. Marketing people seem to have the idea that ANYTHING connected to a computer is AI. Unfortunately, all they generally say is "AI is cool" but there's been few good use-cases, the exception being Microsoft AI discovering new beer flavors.
Let's explore AI in the context of Google's DeepMind AlphaGo program, which was invented to play the popular board-game Go. Go is a strategy game for two players, in which the aim is to surround more territory than the opponent. The game was invented in China more than 2,500 years ago and is believed to be the oldest board game continuously played to the present day.
Let's look at what is/not computer-assistance in playing/competing Go.
· Analytics is NOT AI. Analytics takes data and provides insight into how that data may be useful. An example would be to capturing moves which a Go player would make and show possible moves which can be made.
·Machine-Learning is NOT AI. ML takes output of datasets, i.e. analytics, and creates models which allow probabilistic outcomes to be at a higher level of certainty. An example would be to analyze Go moves and applying Go rules and expert moves to play a better game, learning from those moves.
AI IS about setting a goal or desired result and having the program achieve that goal without human interaction. An example of this is the company DeepMind which basically played Go against itself to self-train without human input the ability to beat the best Go players in the world.
So what does this mean to Independent Workers? We need to ALWAYS embrace new technologies so that we're not stuck supporting old business and technology models. It's our choice to be at the leading edge of technologies and help our customers to find new, innovative solutions to their problems. Part of this innovation is applying AI technologies to supplement our Intelligent-Worker expertise!
About: Paul Czarnik problem-solves with code.
Paul is iWorker CTO where he focuses on developing solutions for Independent Workers. Paul served as Compuware CTO, using his technical expertise for product development, software excellence, M&A due-diligence, and Compuware Ventures investments. Paul lives on a 'connected farm' in Ortonville, Michigan.