Are We Really In The “Golden Age” Of Artificial Intelligence?

Last month, I was reading an article in Forbes in which the author claimed that the golden age of Artificial Intelligence (AI) was upon us, confirmed by a survey of more than 1,000 executives. Adoption of AI is up 72% this year compared to 48% last year! 93% of executives say that emerging technologies, including AI, deep learning and machine learning, are helping their businesses be more competitive!

Well…maybe. But let’s get some perspective.

Take a look, for example, at how many companies that have outwardly facing systems which now have speech recognition that allow you to speak into the phone in order to be routed. It could even in some cases say, “Tell me what you want” and then route you. This is a form of AI. Now, is it materially impacting a person’s business? It might be marginally better than the old way of someone pressing one or two on their keypad to get the right person, but that’s not necessarily elevating their business to an entirely new level either.

In some ways, AI is like a very tall building. Just because you can see light in some of the rooms doesn’t mean that the building is fully occupied.

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If we compare this state to 8 years ago when machine learning really came about, the use of AI was close to zero. Yes, we may find that we’re using AI all over today far more than we ever did 8 years ago, but the question is…how much and to what extent?

If our firm is using AI for five percent of what we do, is that progress? Using AI for 80% of what we do would seem much more so. Therefore, the question is not whether you do or do not use AI as the above survey appears to tout. That’s only scratching the surface. Real adoption will be found in the degree of usage as far as how much and how often you are using AI.

For example, just because a manufacturer can produce self-driving cars doesn’t mean the “golden age” of AI is here. We still need people to buy the car. We still need them to engage in it as their primary driving vehicle. We still need them to take it on the highway, put it on autopilot and keep their hands on it  until they reach their destination.

When we reach these levels of adoption and usage, then we can brand the day and age we’re in as golden for AI.

In the interim, what we don’t have to debate is whether or not AI is here and here to stay. It is here to stay. It is now only a matter of how large it will scale and how quickly. You can anticipate finding the answer to that out sooner rather than later.

We may not be in the “golden age” of AI just yet, but make no mistake. It’s entirely possible that its impact and that of other related technologies such as machine learning and deep learning could move into a stage of full-fledged adoption and utilization by companies who demand specialized talent. And that’s where you want to be ready to deliver.

Roy Talman & Associates can prepare you to best align with the landscape of AI, including positioning you for new and evolving roles as well as interviewing and test taking best practices. It’s the complete package for elevating your career in the year to come. And you can only find it when you Talk To Talman First.