Happy Christmas From Your AI Overlords

Happy Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays!

Your AI overlords are here!

And they are coming for IT jobs, too.

There are hypothesis by people that creative jobs will survive the AI onslaught and so people should concentrate on these fields.  This is factually incorrect. Music, paintings, ability to determine a factual statement given human created evidence (Google’s AI Drawing Game) show that AI is not only able to be creative, but that it can be inferential on levels equivalent to humans.

However, being able to create art does not make an overload unless you are Hitler.

The first link is in regard to a company that is transforming the daily business activities by basically replacing middle management with an AI ratings system. In essence, it allows employees to rate and critique each other and stores and analyzes this data. This emphasizes the role of people as “cogs” in a machine or a clock. Like in the movie “The Incredibles“.

Bridgewater even reports that one-fifth of its hires cannot handle a year at the company, and those who do survive are often found crying in the bathrooms.

This statement in the article seems to indicate that crying in the bathroom of an employer is a result of AI management. I have seen management make people cry in the workplace – with no AI involvement at all. I have seen management bully people in to working excessive hours with no AI assistance.

I’m not sure I see a difference between a human manager making a person cry at work or an AI manager making a person cry at work.

As far as the creative arts are concerned – well, I think that would be an easy computer algorithm to “assist” artists to make better art. I’m envisioning a “Black Mirror” episode where people’s like rating directly impacted their daily life. Why not set up Facebook pages – and you’ll know if the next piece of art you create is better than the last – by the number of likes you get? Instagram and a little data analysis would work even better.

So, say hello to you AI overlords – they are already here – a bit earlier than expected.

Waze, Big Data, Machine Learning and the “man”

Waze is most likely sitting on a huge amount of data of when, where, and how long police officers stay in locations waiting to trap unsuspecting citizens for speeding on the nations roadways.

However; with machine learning, a lot of data, and some number crunching I don’t see why Waze couldn’t just incorporate into their application the probability – like a “sixth sense” that there is a police officer in a specific location.

Police officers can do all they want to randomize their appearances; however, there are only so many places for an officer to hide their police car to act like a predator and attack innocent civilians.

In fact, if they did a really good job with it – it could impact the budgets of cities and states that rely on robbing people that pass through their territory to “donate” money.

It is wrong for budgets to depend on speeding tickets to run their jurisdictions. It is wrong that people that can least afford it are the ones the get pulled over, can’t pay the fine, end up owing more money, and then are threatened with loss of driver’s license and in fact, their work and their lives.

This is one way that we can fight back.

Don’t Thank God, Thank AI

There is a lot of strife out there – when things go well medically, people in general like to thank god. When things go bad we always sue the doctor, the hospital, the insurance company or any company even remotely related to the procedures involved.

Now, people might try to sue IBM’s Watson, or Enlitic’s software for diagnosing lung cancer. They will, I suspect, be going after these pieces of AI software less often than they currently go after current malpractice lawsuits. Early detection is the best method for treating lung cancer – and if Enlitic’s software can detect it better than humans can – then more people have a chance at surviving lung cancer.

Maybe, just maybe, we’ll start thanking AI for saving our lives rather than god. At least AI might have more of a personal hand in saving your life. We don’t tend to thank tools for saving us – nor the operators of tools such as ultrasound devices and ultrasound techs. So, I won’t hold my breath, but I’ll be happy if AI or ultrasound tech saves my life.

In the future, it might also be a question if you should thank AI, if it attains intelligence to be treated as a sentient being.

Coursera review: The Data Scientist’s Toolbox

Facebook can be a wonderful thing.  I have liked the BBC, CNN, and many other news outlets on my Facebook account.  I don’t watch the news on TV, I get upset about it on Facebook.  Really, it is much more efficient and upsetting. 🙂  But you can’t get too upset as the next post is some funny cat video.

Advertising is moving to Facebook and in talking about Data Science, Facebook and their advertisers must have some really good algorithms at work.

I remember when we all used to laugh about the inappropriate ads that would show up on the web and Facebook.  Now, these ads are targeted and they know us well.

An add for Coursera’s Facebook page is how I came to know about the Data Science certificate.  Since then I’ve read articles about the course and the enticing low cost of the course gathered my interest. ($29) [NOTE: all other courses are $49 each]

The Data Scientist’s Toolbox course contains an overview of the Data Scientist’s job, takes you through installing R, creating and using a Github account with Git GUI and Git Bash, and the steps in Data Analysis.

I went through the course very quickly; although, I had to wait for the official course end to get my certificate. (Coursera datascitoolbox 2015)

The course is composed of video lectures, dedicated forums where many classmates post questions and answers, quizzes, grading other student’s work, and projects.

The fairly simple course projects was to show that you had successfully installed R, R Studio, and established a Github account.

The lecturer is very good, easy to understand and while not vocal about it you can tell he enjoys the field and teaching.  Enjoying teaching is something I wish all my college professors had when I was in college.

When I was finished with the course I decided I really wanted more.  I enjoyed it a lot.  The amount of time to complete the course was far less than their estimates (4-9 hours a week).  So I went on to the R Programming course immediately afterward starting that course mid-course.

While I thought the course was easy and the project was easy, I graded 4 other student’s work and 1 of them was not able to properly use Github.  So, what you will get out of this course depends greatly on what you take in with you.  Even someone with advanced programming knowledge will learn at least a little something from this course.

There was only one thing that was lacking in an overview course like this one – and that was to show off R Programming languages capabilities and say why choose R over other technologies.

I’ve finished the second course “R Programming” and started “Getting and Cleaning Data” and “Exploratory Data Analysis“.  I have to say that it isn’t until the fourth course that you really see why you would choose R for data analysis over using Excel, SQL Server Analysis Services or other options out there.