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Should AI Fool You? | @ExpoDX #ArtificialIntelligence #DigitalTransformation

Common sense, of course, is one area where humans still run circles around the best AI available today

In the 67 years since Alan Turing proposed his Imitation Game - the infamous ‘Turing test' for artificial intelligence (AI) - people have been confused over the very purpose of AI itself.

At issue: whether the point of AI is to simulate human behavior so seamlessly that it can fool people into thinking they are actually interacting with a human being, rather than a piece of software.

Such deception was never the point of Turing's exercise, however. Rather, he realized that there was no way to define true intelligence, and thus no way to test for it. So he came up with the game as a substitute - something people could theoretically test for.

Regardless of Turing's intentions, setting the bar for AI based on its ability to snooker an audience has become fully ingrained in our culture, thanks in large part to Hollywood.

The AI We Love - and Love to Hate
Ever since the 1927 film Metropolis, filmmakers have realized that humans had to play the role of any intelligent machine - simply because having a machine do its own acting made for bad theater.

We simply want and expect humans to play all the characters in our entertainment, regardless of whether they appear to be machines or animals or celestial beings, or any other character, anthropomorphic or not.

It's no wonder, then, that we crave AI as intelligent as Star Trek's Lt. Cmdr. Data or Star Wars' C3PO, and we fear AI the likes of The Terminator's Skynet or Hal 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. For good or evil, our context for AI is a machine that has convincing human traits, because we require a human to play the part.

A popular trope in such productions is the argument over whether such a computer is truly a self-aware, sentient being - or is it simply programmed to act that way.

If the former, then we must assign it the rights we assign humans. If the latter, then it is merely a machine, unworthy of even the most basic courtesies due a human. After all, there's no point in thanking or cursing a machine, is there?

Turing realized that he couldn't answer this question, even if he had the luxury of a tête-à-tête with Data and C3PO in person. Instead, he proposed the Imitation Game as a thought exercise to suggest a question he could answer - not as a goal of AI.

Today's AI technology, in any case, is nowhere near Data or C3PO or Skynet or any of the other human-like, AI-driven machines of fiction. Nevertheless, in spite of Turing's true intentions, the goal of human-like behavior sufficiently accurate to fool people remains one of the primary goals of many AI initiatives, for better or worse - and mostly for the worse.

‘Human-Fooling' vs. ‘Human-Like' Behavior
We may not be hiding today's AI behind the Turing test's curtain as a rule, but many innovators still use the ‘good enough to fool people' metric as a goal of their software.

However, if we take a closer look at the current state of the AI market, it's clear that there's a difference between merely ‘human-like' behavior and behavior that could actually fool people into thinking the AI was actually a person.

Controlling our smartphones or Amazon Echoes with voice commands are examples. Yes, such devices answer with a human-like voice, but their creators aren't trying to fool anyone that such devices are actually sentient - nor should they.

Image recognition, including facial recognition, is another example. Yes, we appreciate the human-like ability when a computer can identify a person in a video, again without the expectation that we're fooling anyone into believing such software has anything resembling human intelligence.

At the other extreme, technologies like virtual assistants actively seek to fool people. If you call a big company's toll-free number, the reasoning goes, then you, the consumer, will have a better experience if the voice on the other end of the line can carry on a real conversation.

Here's the rub: in reality, there's a line between human-like and human-fooling behavior, and if a virtual assistant crosses the line, it simply becomes annoying.

If that smooth voice apologizes for not understanding me, with a touch of contrition in the tone of its voice, I don't actually feel better - because it's not a true apology. It is by definition spurious. Nobody is actually sorry.

What we actually want from such voice interfaces is language understanding, accuracy, and efficiency, as anyone would want when they ask their phone for directions. I don't want additional verbiage or emotional nuance solely meant to fool me into thinking I'm interacting with a human.

Do We Want ‘Artificial Stupidity'?
Predictably, various organizations have staged Turing tests over the years, offering prizes to the program best able to fool people into thinking it was human. In 1991, a simplistic program won the first Loebner Prize for AI in large part because it shrewdly inserted typos into its output.

The hapless humans judging the contest were fooled, of course - but not because of the program's intelligence, but rather due to its programmed stupidity.

Typos or no, programmers looking to win such contests have long realized that in order to win, their AI programs couldn't appear to be too smart, or people would obviously think they were interacting with a machine. So the coders would intentionally dumb down the output in hopes of a more convincing human simulacrum.

The question we're facing today is whether there are any true business contexts for AI where we really want to dumb our programs down in order to make them sufficiently human-like to fool people.

Taking as a given that killer robots are still well in the future, the obvious answer is that today's AI is barely smart enough as it is - let alone if we ever decided we needed to make it stupider.

On the contrary, researchers and vendors alike are actively innovating ever smarter AI - but not smarter in the sense of better able to fool people.

After all, there are other characteristics of human intelligence that we're actively pursuing in our AI advancement, including better understanding of human language, judgment sufficient to make business decisions, and the most elusive goal of all: simple common sense.

In some cases, today's AI can actually exceed human ability. Google Translate, for example, cannot yet match the ability of human translators for any pair of languages, but its remarkable capacity to translate between any of 103 languages exceeds any individual human translator's ability.

AI-based judgment also generally falls short of human instincts, except when it comes to making judgment calls based upon vast quantities of data. To be sure, the overlap between AI and Big Data exceeds the human ability to leverage large data sets in our all-too-small brains.

Common sense, of course, is one area where humans still run circles around the best AI available today. Stories like the driverless car that broadsided the white semi because it couldn't tell it wasn't the sky all too frequently remind us of this limitation.

The good news: several vendors are pushing the limits of how much common sense AI can exhibit. Mark my words: when the technology advances to the point that an AI's common sense is better than a human's, we will all breathe more easily.

The Intellyx Take
In addition to human qualities we would like AI to exhibit and eventually excel at, perhaps more powerful are qualities we poor humans might wish to have for ourselves, but do not.

Rapid, tireless processing of data, of course, is one area that computers vastly exceed human capabilities for many years now - and with the addition of AI, that lead will only grow over time.

Other examples of AI excelling where humans are week are less obvious. In today's fake news-infested world, for example, bias-free reasoning is a capability our AI may gain in spite of the fact that humans are inevitably biased in our thinking.

Then again, we may not appreciate unbiased programs, as they are likely to disagree with our own biased perception of the truth. Such is the nature of human bias.

A third area - and perhaps the most controversial - is AI's potential ability to make itself smarter. True, as humans, we can educate ourselves, making us more knowledgeable and perhaps with experience, even wiser. But in terms of sheer smarts, we're pretty much stuck with what we're born with.

AI, however, faces no such biological limitations. Research progresses on programs that are smart enough to write other programs - and it's only a matter of time until we have code that can write code-writing software.

Somewhere down this road lie the killer robots of Elon Musk's worst nightmares, to be sure. In my opinion, however, there will be a significant interval of years or even decades between the current state of the art and Skynet - perhaps even a coming ‘golden age' of AI, where our world experiences transformative benefit from AI that behaves little or nothing like humans.

On a final note, AI that excels at tasks humans are poor at, rather than AI that mimics human capabilities too closely, aren't as likely to take many jobs away from people - and in those cases where AI does replace a human worker, there would be a thin argument for keeping that person in the job. And that's no fooling.

Copyright © Intellyx LLC. Intellyx publishes the Agile Digital Transformation Roadmap poster, advises companies on their digital transformation initiatives, and helps vendors communicate their agility stories. As of the time of writing, none of the organizations mentioned in this article are Intellyx customers.


DXWorldEXPO LLC, the producer of the world's most influential technology conferences and trade shows has announced the conference tracks for CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO 2018 New York.

DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City.

Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term.

A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throughout enterprises of all sizes.

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DXWordEXPO New York 2018 and Cloud Expo New York 2018 agenda present 222 rockstar faculty members, 200 sessions and 22 keynotes and general sessions in 10 distinct conference tracks.

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  • DevOpsSummit
  • FinTechEXPO - New York Blockchain Event
  • CloudEXPO - Enterprise Cloud
  • DXWorldEXPO - Digital Transformation (DX)
  • Smart Cities | IoT | IIoT
  • AI | Machine Learning | Cognitive Computing
  • BigData | Analytics
  • The API Enterprise | Mobility | Security
  • Hot Topics | FinTech | WebRTC

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DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO 2018 New York cover all of these tools, with the most comprehensive program and with 222 rockstar speakers throughout our industry presenting 22 Keynotes and General Sessions, 200 Breakout Sessions along 10 Tracks, as well as our signature Power Panels. Our Expo Floor brings together the world's leading companies throughout the world of Cloud Computing, DevOps, FinTech, Digital Transformation, and all they entail.

As your enterprise creates a vision and strategy that enables you to create your own unique, long-term success, learning about all the technologies involved is essential. Companies today not only form multi-cloud and hybrid cloud architectures, but create them with built-in cognitive capabilities.

Cloud-Native thinking is now the norm in financial services, manufacturing, telco, healthcare, transportation, energy, media, entertainment, retail and other consumer industries, as well as the public sector.

CloudEXPO is the world's most influential technology event where Cloud Computing was coined over a decade ago and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals.

FinTech Is Now Part of the DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO Program!

Financial enterprises in New York City, London, Singapore, and other world financial capitals are embracing a new generation of smart, automated FinTech that eliminates many cumbersome, slow, and expensive intermediate processes from their businesses.

Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 22nd CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO November 11-13, 2018 in New York City will find fresh new content in two new tracks called:

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  • New York Blockchain Event

which will incorporate FinTech and Blockchain, as well as machine learning, artificial intelligence and deep learning in these two distinct tracks.

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Sponsorship Opportunities Here

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Sponsorship and Speaking Inquiries: [email protected].

FinTech brings efficiency as well as the ability to deliver new services and a much improved customer experience throughout the global financial services industry. FinTech is a natural fit with cloud computing, as new services are quickly developed, deployed, and scaled on public, private, and hybrid clouds.

More than US$20 billion in venture capital is being invested in FinTech this year. DXWorldEXPOCloudEXPO are pleased to bring you the latest FinTech developments as an integral part of our program.

DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are accepting speaking submissions for this new track, so please visit Cloud Computing Expo for the latest information or contact us at [email protected]

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Sponsorship and Speaking Inquiries: [email protected].

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Only DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO bring together all this in a single location:

Attend DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO. Build your own custom experience. Learn about the world's latest technologies and chart your course to Digital Transformation.

22nd International DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO, taking place November 11-13, 2018, in New York City, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.

Register for Full Conference "Gold Pass" ▸ Here (Expo Hall ▸ Here)

Sponsorship Opportunities Here

Speaking Opportunities Here

Sponsorship and Speaking Inquiries: [email protected].

Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here

Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS - software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.

With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.

Every Global 2000 enterprise in the world is now integrating cloud computing in some form into its IT development and operations. Midsize and small businesses are also migrating to the cloud in increasing numbers.

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Sponsorship Opportunities Here

Speaking Opportunities Here

Sponsorship and Speaking Inquiries: [email protected].

Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here

Companies are each developing their unique mix of cloud technologies and services, forming multi-cloud and hybrid cloud architectures and deployments across all major industries. Cloud-driven thinking has become the norm in financial services, manufacturing, telco, healthcare, transportation, energy, media, entertainment, retail and other consumer industries, and the public sector.

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The upcoming 22nd International DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO November 11-13, 2018 in New York City, NY announces that its Call For Papers for speaking opportunities is now open.

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About DXWorldEXPO LLC

DXWorldEXPO LLC is a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based trade show company and the creator of DXWorldEXPODigital Transformation Conference & Expo. The company produces and presents CloudEXPO, DevOpsSummitFinTechEXPO Blockchain Event, the world's most influential conferences and trade shows.

More Stories By Jason Bloomberg

Jason Bloomberg is a leading IT industry analyst, Forbes contributor, keynote speaker, and globally recognized expert on multiple disruptive trends in enterprise technology and digital transformation. He is ranked #5 on Onalytica’s list of top Digital Transformation influencers for 2018 and #15 on Jax’s list of top DevOps influencers for 2017, the only person to appear on both lists.

As founder and president of Agile Digital Transformation analyst firm Intellyx, he advises, writes, and speaks on a diverse set of topics, including digital transformation, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, devops, big data/analytics, cybersecurity, blockchain/bitcoin/cryptocurrency, no-code/low-code platforms and tools, organizational transformation, internet of things, enterprise architecture, SD-WAN/SDX, mainframes, hybrid IT, and legacy transformation, among other topics.

Mr. Bloomberg’s articles in Forbes are often viewed by more than 100,000 readers. During his career, he has published over 1,200 articles (over 200 for Forbes alone), spoken at over 400 conferences and webinars, and he has been quoted in the press and blogosphere over 2,000 times.

Mr. Bloomberg is the author or coauthor of four books: The Agile Architecture Revolution (Wiley, 2013), Service Orient or Be Doomed! How Service Orientation Will Change Your Business (Wiley, 2006), XML and Web Services Unleashed (SAMS Publishing, 2002), and Web Page Scripting Techniques (Hayden Books, 1996). His next book, Agile Digital Transformation, is due within the next year.

At SOA-focused industry analyst firm ZapThink from 2001 to 2013, Mr. Bloomberg created and delivered the Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) course and associated credential, certifying over 1,700 professionals worldwide. He is one of the original Managing Partners of ZapThink LLC, which was acquired by Dovel Technologies in 2011.

Prior to ZapThink, Mr. Bloomberg built a diverse background in eBusiness technology management and industry analysis, including serving as a senior analyst in IDC’s eBusiness Advisory group, as well as holding eBusiness management positions at USWeb/CKS (later marchFIRST) and WaveBend Solutions (now Hitachi Consulting), and several software and web development positions.

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