Caution urged for AI investment

The massive amounts of hype and promise surrounding AI and related technologies like machine learning and deep learning, is preventing organisations from making critical innovation and investment decisions, according to a new report from research and advisory firm Lux Research.

Titled: “Artificial Intelligence: A Framework to Identify Challenges and Guide Successful Outcomes,” the report by advisory firm Lux Research looks at the current state of artificial intelligence.

The report warns that taking a technology-first approach (e.g., selecting a vendor simply because they claim to use the latest AI techniques) has led and will lead to many failed companies and projects.

“[In the past] researchers used everything besides the term AI to describe what they were working on; today, everything from a grammar checker to a stock trading application is called AI.

“Today’s breed of AI techniques is particularly well-suited for pattern recognition tasks. Opportunities exist to leverage this capability, whether for scaling basic human pattern recognition capabilities, emulating expert pattern recognition, or uncovering patterns in data too complex for a human to recognize.

“As the environment and data get more complex, however, the maturity of today’s pattern recognition AI decreases. Tasks that move beyond pattern recognition to tasks that typically require long-term human reasoning to accomplish tend to be more immature or significantly limited in the complexity of environments they can handle,” the report’s authors warn.

The report cautions against investing too early in applications that require more advanced AI capabilities, because it said they are often too immature and untested.

The executive summary for the report can be downloaded here (pdf).