First impressions and shiny things

Like you, I’ve heard about artificial intelligence before. I’m a big science fiction movie fan and prefer it over rom-coms. But lately, the terms “artificial intelligence”, “machine learning” and “neural networks” seem to be cropping up over and over in my Twitter feed. I have never been one to jump into hyped tech because a lot of it can lead you down rabbit holes where you end up with something shiny, but not useful.

So I approached with caution… this was what I kept hearing in my head, with Dorothy’s voice saying, “Artificial intelligence and machine learning and neural networks, oh my!”

I signed up for bootcamp courses online, both free and paid. I watched videos and read content. And one thing I learned is that much of this new terminology is a re-hash of old terminology.

Whispers… machine learning is often just plain ole statistics.

Yes, there are changes that are new, and most of what I’ve found so far is the amount of data that can be used now can be huge (big data is the buzzword here). Also, there is a lot of free stuff or open source content. So the knowledge you can obtain about shiny new tech is not behind ivory towers. However, you may have to sift through content because a lot is junk, or old, or not helpful in any way.

So I’m learning again, and that makes me happy. I’ll post more about artificial intelligence, machine learning, and neural networks because I *DO* believe in their usefulness. I do think they are more than hype. And just like Dorothy, I say, “Oh my!” but now in an excited-eager-confident way.

Sara Kubik