In "Artificial Intelligence – The Revolution Hasn't Happened Yet," University of California at Berkeley professor Michael I. Jordan injects such a note of caution. "The idea that our era is somehow seeing the emergence of an intelligence in silicon that rivals our own entertains all of us --enthralling us and frightening us in equal measure," he writes. "Whether or not we come to understand intelligence any time soon, we do have a major challenge on our hands in bringing together computers and humans in ways that enhance human life." Tools have played a critical role in the evolution of humans since our ancestors first developed stone tools a few million years ago. "We shape our tools and they in turn shape us," observed noted author and educator Marshall McLuhan in the 1960s.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the mantra of the current era. The phrase is intoned by technologists, academicians, journalists, and venture capitalists alike. As with many phrases that cross over from technical academic fields into general circulation, there is significant misunderstanding accompanying use of the phrase. However, this is not the classical case of the public not understanding the scientists--here the scientists are often as befuddled as the public. The idea that our era is somehow seeing the emergence of an intelligence in silicon that rivals our own entertains all of us, enthralling us and frightening us in equal measure. There is a different narrative that one can tell about the current era.
We bandy about the term "artificial intelligence," evoking ideas of creative machines anticipating our every whim, though the reality is more banal: "For the foreseeable future, computers will not be able to match humans in their ability to reason abstractly about real-world situations." This is from Michael I. Jordan, one of the foremost authorities on AI and machine learning, who wants us to get real about AI. "People are getting confused about the meaning of AI in discussions of technology trends--that there is some kind of intelligent thought in computers that is responsible for the progress and which is competing with humans. We don't have that, but people are talking as if we do," he noted in the IEEE Spectrum article. Instead, he wrote in an article for Harvard Data Science Review, we should be talking about ML and its possibilities to augment, not replace, human cognition. Jordan calls this "Intelligence Augmentation," and uses examples like search engines to showcase the possibilities for assisting humans with creative thought.
Much like we have Chemical Engineering and Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, it is time to formalize of field of Data Engineering. This is a special two-part series on trends and requirements leading to the formalization of the Field of Data Engineering. "Data is the new oil…in much the same way that oil fueled economic growth in the 20th century, data will fuel economic growth in the 21st century." To further raise the credibility of data as the economic fuel for the next century, "The Economist" Special Report on the Data Economy asks "Are data more like oil or sunlight?" Still, it is hard to put a definitive value on data. If data is to be the fuel for economic growth in the 21st century, don't we need to find a way to accurately determine what data is worth?
Unlike most other lists of top experts, this one is a hand-picked selection, not based on influence or Klout scores, or the number of Twitter followers and re-tweets, or other similar metrics. Each of these experts has his/her own Wikipedia page. Some might not even have a Twitter account. All of them have had a very strong academic and research career in the most prestigious places. Jeffrey Hawkins is the American founder of Palm Computing (where he invented the Palm Pilot) and Handspring (where he invented the Treo).