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Executive Corner – Insight on AI

Michael Clegg | 08/16/2023

“Forget artificial intelligence – in the brave new world of big data, it’s artificial idiocy we should be looking out for.” -Tom Chatifield

AI is everywhere. This got me thinking about how there’s a tendency to believe that having access to massive amounts of information may seem like we’ve got all the answers. However, this can lead to oversimplification, misinterpretation, and even misguided decision-making. The idea of “artificial idiocy” is just awareness about the danger of blindly trusting data-driven insights without considering how complex the real world can be.

AI is adaptable and can learn along the way, but that means it can also learn the wrong thing sometimes. Whatever the user puts into it is what it knows. One of the cons to ChatGPT when it first came out was that it didn’t have access to real-time data, unlike Google.

Remember that AI systems are only as good as the data they are trained on. If the data is biased, incomplete, or misinterpreted, the conclusions drawn from it can indeed be akin to “artificial idiocy.” Like I’ve said the last few posts, AI lacks the human ability to comprehend contextual subtleties, emotional nuances, and common sense reasoning that come naturally to humans.

While big data offers unprecedented insights, its value is maximized when combined with capabilities that AI lacks, including human judgment, critical thinking, and domain expertise. Instead of fearing “artificial idiocy,” we should aim to utilize both AI and complex human skills to the best of their abilities. Don’t let AI fool you with its oversimplification.

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