Artificial Intelligence: Duh? What?

I have been following the “AI will kill us”, the landscape of machine intelligence craziness, and “Artificial Intelligence Isn’t a Threat—Yet.”

The most recent big thinking on this subject appears in the Wall Street Journal, an organization in need of any type of intelligence: Machine, managerial, fiscal, online, and sci-fi.

Harsh? Hmm. The Wall Street Journal has been running full page ads for Factiva. If you are not familiar with this for fee service, think 1981. The system gathers “high value” content and makes it available to humans clever enough to guess the keywords that unlock, not answers, but a list of documents presumably germane to the keyword query. There are wrappers that make Factiva more fetching. But NGIA systems (what I call next generation information access systems) use the Factiva methods perfected 40 years ago as a utility.

These are Cheetos. nutritious, right? Will your smart kitchen let you eat these when it knows you are 30 pounds overweight, have consumed a quart of alcohol infused beverages, and ate a Snickers for lunch? Duh? What?

NGIA systems are sort of intelligent. The most interesting systems recurse through the previous indexes as the content processing system ingests data from users happily clicking, real time content streaming to the collection service, and threshold adjustments made either by savvy 18 year olds or some numerical recipes documented by Google’s Dr. Norvig in his standard text Artificial Intelligence.

So should be looking forward to the outputs of a predictive system pumping directly into an autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle? Will a nifty laser weapon find and do whatever the nifty gizmo does to a target? Will the money machine figure out why I need $300 for concrete repairs and decline to give it to me because the ATM “knows” the King of Concrete could not lay down in a feather bed. Forget real concrete.

The Wall Street Journal write up offers up this titbit:

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Interview with Dave Hawking Offers Insight into Bing, FunnelBack and Enterprise Search

The article titled To Bing and Beyond on IDM provides an interview with Dave Hawking, an award-winner in the field of information retrieval and currently a Partner Architect for Bing. In the somewhat lengthy interview, Hawking answers questions on his own history, his work at Bing, natural language search, Watson, and Enterprise Search, among other things. At one point he describes how he arrived in the field of information retrieval after studying computer science at the Australian National University, where he the first search engine he encountered was the library’s card catalogue. He says,

“I worked in a number of computer infrastructure support roles at ANU and by 1991 I was in charge of a couple of supercomputers…In order to do a good job of managing a large-scale parallel machine I thought I needed to write a parallel program so I built a kind of parallel grep… I wrote some papers about parallelising text retrieval on supercomputers but I pretty soon decided that text retrieval was more interesting.”

When asked about the challenges of Enterprise Search, Hawking went into detail about the complications that arise due to the “diversity of repositories” as well as issues with access controls. Hawking’s work in search technology can’t be overstated, from his contributions to the Text Retrieval Conferences, CSIRO, FunnelBack in addition to his academic achievements.

Chelsea Kerwin, December 09, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

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