Why the A.I. Euphoria Is Doomed to Fail

Evgeny Chereshnev | Venture Beat | September 17, 2016

Investors dropped $681 million into A.I.-centric startups in Silicon Valley last year. This year, the number will likely reach $1.2 billion. Five years ago, total A.I. investment spiked at roughly $150 million. This is how Silicon Valley works: When something new is hyped and seems to have investor trust, everybody jumps on the train without asking, “Where does this train go?”

The truth is that artificial intelligence does not exist yet, and most companies claiming to have A.I. technology are arrogantly re-selling an old concept of machine learning — a technology that was first introduced in 1959 but which truly started to take off in the 1990s. Cloud technology, big data, and amazing search algorithms have become the fuel for this rocket. Systems and services have improved, thanks to insane amounts of statistical data pouring their way. But this has nothing to do with A.I.

Let me illustrate the difference. Machine Learning Intellect (or “MLI” — a term that I invented just now) is basically a very smart shopping cart in Amazon that knows everything about its global users. But it does not need a human operator to improve CR (conversion rate). MLI tailors the shopping experience and shows the customer the goods they might want to purchase. At the same time, MLI provides developers with data feeds that show specific customer navigation on the site, leading to an additional ROI boost...