Future Scenarios: Driving Forces

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Notes from a discussion of machine learning as a driving force with Alice Sun. We discussed “AI hype” as a driving force of:

  1. the shift from products to services
  2. increasing distrust of the media

AI Hype

  • Origins as a driving force:
    • ability to solve problems that are difficult to specify or define
  • Historical precursors:
    • gaming industry created cheap GPU’s
    • mature tech companies with web-scale data sets
    • foundational concepts such as back propagation
    • human vs machine demonstrations such as Alpha Go (vs symbiotic relationships)
  • How does it influence the conditions which are influenced by it?
    • 1. the shift from products to services
      • companies have an incentive to create service platforms to collect data and collect as much data as possible
    • 2. distrust of media
      • machine learning can synthesize media that is difficult for humans to detect as machine generated
      • filters run by machine learning algorithms sometimes promote low quality information. eg facebook filtered feed, google suggested answers
      • personalization can feel obtuse or “creepy”
  • What are the counter-forces at play?
    • Privacy regulation
    • Distrust of corporations
    • Fear of artificial intelligence and black box algorithms
    • Hype cycles / AI winters
    • Platform ecosystem stakeholders with competing interests. eg iOS not allowing certain tracking