“In the future, however, we will have top-down systems that don’t require as much data and are faster, more flexible, and, like humans, more innately intelligent. A number of companies and organizations are already putting these more natural systems to work.
Common sense. A variety of organizations are working to teach machines to navigate the world using common sense—to understand everyday objects and actions, communicate naturally, handle unforeseen situations, and learn from experiences. But what comes naturally to humans, without explicit training or data, is fiendishly difficult for machines. Says Oren Etzioni, the CEO of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2), “No AI system currently deployed can reliably answer a broad range of simple questions, such as, ‘If I put my socks in a drawer, will they still be in there tomorrow?’ or ‘How can you tell if a milk carton is full?’”
This is a question that has been on my mind, but I haven’t had the time to monitor, document and track the interactions. So, yesterday December 29th, was my opportunity. It was Saturday, in the midst of the New Year holiday weekend. The kids would be with Grandma for the majority of the day, and my wife had plans filled with errands and a nap.
So here we go…
Woke up, grabbed coffee and turned on my Amazon Fire TV with Netflix and shows recommended for me. Usually it’s spot-on but my wife has been using my account so I have the “The Great British Baking Show” and “Windsor” 🙂
Opened FlipBoard to check for new stories and read the section “For You” including articles on unplugging, exercise tips, AI, sports and investing. These are well targeted. There are usually more stories on hiking, camping and backpacking but I’ve been more focused on ai in recent weeks.
I loaded a couple of Amazon gift cards from the holiday into my account and checked out deals recommended for me. There’s one that interesting….a Yeti cooler lock. Don’t judge 🙂 it seems like an odd product but those coolers aren’t cheap, and I don’t want someone to throw mine in their truck while we’re away from our tent hiking.
It’s interesting though, even Amazon has plenty of room for improvement in their ai image recognition. Example, I was shopping at Academy (local sporting goods store) a couple days after Christmas and wanted to see if Amazon had a better deal on the lock. So, I opened the Amazon app, clicked on the “search by image” tool, and it failed to correctly identify the image below in my hand as the very same product displayed in a slightly different product images (see below).
Meanwhile my wife was doing the grocery shopping online. She selected an avocado and promptly received recommendations for peppers and tomatillos. I now have her helping with the experiment.
Next, I’m sitting in my recliner and the house feels chilly today so I decided to check the temperature…brrrrr…it has dipped down into the 40’s – that’s cold for Texas!!
While in the app I receive an advertisement for a Google Home mini. Unfortunately, I already have the large Google home device. Note: It’s an ok device but I just don’t use that often. It was frequently “turning on” unprompted and disrupting work related phone calls. It now has a semi-permanent home in the hall closet.
Back to the temperature…what I need, and have been watching prices for, is a Nest thermostat. I was really surprised over the holiday. I checked the price nearly every day from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday and the Nest was never discounted…at least never more than a few pennies. So it remains on my wish list…sigh.
While watching the Peach Bowl (Michigan 10 v. Florida 13 at the half) I decided to send a thank you note to my brother for the Christmas gift cards. Gmail now uses ai to help predict what you’re writing and offers quick and easy auto-fill.
Time to check Facebook to see what friends and family are up to this weekend. The result…memories, updates and targeted offers…delivered by ai.
I’m still watching the Peach Bowl, but not really concerned with the outcome since I’m an alum of Purdue and Butler. However, will someone PLEASE develop an ai system that replaces referees/officials/umpires. There were TWO officials standing on top of this play and completely missed the call.
Grandma and the kids just arrived from Austin where they used Google maps to navigate, and my wife just returned from HEB – the local grocery store. Both had to use GPS since we’re at the lake on vacation for the holiday.
We’re a bit of a sports family so this is our setup for the afternoon: Purdue Basketball, Butler Basketball and Cotton Bowl powered by 3 Amazon Fire enabled TVs. I’m confident all of this is being captured and added to my profile in Amazon’s version of “the graph” to power further ai based recommendations.
Throughout the course of the day I witnessed my kids on: Snapchat, YouTube and Instagram…all of which are powered by ai for content, personalization and recommendations.
This evening I posted about a new publication titled “HBRs 10 Must Reads – On AI, Analytics, and the New Machine Age. Amazon says that the hard-back and paper-back versions won’t be available until Feb 12th, but I was able to download the digital version to my kindle app within minutes.
I’ve only read the first two chapters: 1) Artificial Intelligence for the Real World and 2) Stitch Fix’s CEO on Selling Personal Style to the Mass Market. The total purchase price was $44.83 and I already believe it was money well spent.
I’m a little disappointed. I was hoping to fly our drone today, but we didn’t get it charged up in time. It was a gift to kids last Christmas, but the newness has warn off so I’m quasi taking it over. It is simply AMAZING and chalk full of ai. From the way it self-balances for hovering, self-lands to prevent crashes and follows you based on GPS. The technology is impressive, especially when you consider it’s built into an affordable “toy”.
Well, it has been a fun-filled day and time to turn-in for the night. As I set the alarm I wonder what ai is built into the monitoring and detection capabilities.
So that’s it…or is it? What else may have been impacting my life without even realizing the fact.
Has my electric company begun using ai to monitor and deliver power?
Did my bank utilize ai to protect my accounts while I was watching basketball?
Is the US post office utilizing ai that resulted in the delivery of my mail or packages?
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