I hope you are enjoying the summertime and that it isn’t too hot wherever you’re at.
I’m going to talk a little bit about AI – Artificial Intelligence – and one of my first experiences with AI. AI has been called the most transformative technology of our time. Maybe. The internet was pretty transformative, too.
In any case, there is a perception that AI is something very new. However, AI is a term that was coined by a Stanford Professor named John McCarthy back in 1955. He defined AI as “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines.” If you look up definitions of AI, you’ll find more than a handful of descriptions.
Now, machine learning, reasoning, problem solving, and perception are all components of this technology. Applications are wide open: healthcare field, travel, retail, fraud detection. I even saw an AI generated music video of Johnny Cash singing a Barbie song. That should be enough to limit AI.
We are told that it will reduce human error, assist in risk avoidance, and it will replace repetitive jobs. On the flip side, it is expensive to create, it has no emotion, and can’t think outside the box (yet).
The bottom line is to recognize that AI has been around for a long time but now it’s in the quantum leap growth phase. Hyper growth to a speculative investor is like jelly filled donut to a junk food junkie.
As a prudent investor, there’s no need not fall into the hype and chase after any company that mentions AI in its quarterly conference call. A lot of money will be made due to AI but I believe a lot more money will be lost. Keep that in mind.
Now one of my first experiences with AI came during a trip to Minnesota. My son Vance was in college and was playing summer baseball in the Northwoods League. Unfortunately, during a game, he took a foul tip right into his eye and got an orbital fracture. I flew out there the next day to pick him up and bring him home to see an ophthalmologist.
I picked up a rental car and headed over to the hotel where he was staying. We commiserated about the bad luck and the big shiner he had. We packed up his stuff and headed back to the airport.
We are driving for a while and he asked, “Should we use the GPS machine that came with the car?”
It was an old school GPS; nothing like you see in cars or phones today. I told him we don’t need it.
After about 15 more minutes, he said, “Let me try this GPS.”
Of course, I’m annoyed but I said, “Yeah, go ahead. I don’t know how far the airport is, all I know is that I’m going in the right direction.”
So anyway, he inputs the airport into the GPS, hits the “GO” button and the thing says, “Make an immediate U-Turn.” Alright, the doggone machine was smarter than me in that case. We still laugh about that AI experience today.
So relative to AI, expect a lot of changes in the future…AI will morph and expand and things will change; some for the better and some for the not so good. But don’t fear AI. One thing that won’t change is human nature and the value of real intelligence. The need for personal interaction will never be replaced by AI.
Until next time, I’m Phil Albitz…thanks for watching.