Ever since Schwarzenegger told a desk Sargent that he’d be back and then was back 5 mins later crashing through the wall of police station, the world has been in love with the idea of AI.
And why not? The prospect of machines taking away the mundane tasks of the day-to-day, freeing civilisation to live a decadent and carefree life is a dream to aspire to – right? And if some of those machines turn out to be human hating cyborgs then surely that’s a price worth paying…
Generations have been working away to create that first version of Skynet (the fictional superintelligence system). But rather than looking at teaching the system how to co-ordinate a nuclear strike (hopefully we have learnt something from the film War Games) companies have instead focussed on the more mundane but ultimately monetizable day-to-day tasks that occupies the humble office worker.
While not something that generally lends itself to a big budget movie, it’s obviously a subject that people are hoping will create a big budget company.
One area in which companies have focussed is on the world of data extraction from documents. Around the world, millions of documents are having their information extracted and placed into a target system. Sometimes they are using new technology to perform the task but often (more than you would think), data extraction is carried out by people just keying in the data.
A prime target for termination you might say? But this is where we begin to see more parallels with a movie script than you would expect, as marketing teams in these companies polish the reality of AI into something Oscar worthy.
A quick google for AI data extraction will fill your screen with companies using buzz words like they are going out of fashion: Neural Networks, Deep Learning, Powered by AI, Machine Learning, Big Data, Document Understanding Platform, Set and Forget, Pre-trained AI models… The list goes on and on.
But the reality is that AI hasn’t quite lived up to the dream that Hollywood has sold us. Despite the claims out there that AI is still in the early stages, nobody has created a truly work-killing system. Either AI is only involved in a small part of the end to end process or it needs a large amount of human interaction to train and review the output, simply moving the human costs of processing from one area of a business to another.
So while we wait for AI to catch up with it’s own hype, and that might be 2030 or even 2060, we need to look for solutions that harness current technology to solve today’s problems. And perhaps we need to harness HI (Human Intelligence) to do this while the machines catch up with us.
Computers can already do amazing things when given the proper guidance. That is how we approach problems here at CloudTrade using our patented data extraction and interpretation software, coupled with the in-house expertise, to quickly and efficiently teach our systems without the trial and error that AI needs.
So maybe Terminator did get something right. You need something part-man and part-machine to deal with difficult problems…