Yesterday a partnership was announced between Facebook and an AI research lab. I’m sure this has a number of people worried about what the hive-mind, robots, or terminators will do to us. But I’m psyched. Completely psyched.
Big Data has been around for a while – longer than that term has been there. People have been using interesting algorithms to parse the data to break it down and work through it for years. True the tech to manage it and process it fast has been growing by leaps and bounds lately.
But there’s a big flaw in Big Data, it requires a lot of human analysis. While Big Data can show you some very interesting insights, it is still bound by the hypotheses, biases, and limitations of those writing the algorithms to analyse it.
Enter AI. Ok, it’s not a silver bullet, but it does provide a wealth of tools for extending far beyond the intentions and understanding of those who initially code it. Tools like artificial neural networks, genetic algorithms, and so much more sit mostly unused at the feet of the social media data scientists.
Facebook has made some big advances in showing you content that is interesting and relevant, but that has been limited by how smart they can be about guessing at what you want. The next generation of tools will put those decisions into your hands with every action you take. It’s going to take a bit, there will be misteps, as with any new tech.
But I for one welcome our AI social bot overlords, as long as they can find that proverbial social post needle in the mess of social posts that is the haystack we wade through every day. Amen.