Wednesday, October 25, 2017

If the computer is “a bicycle for our minds,” Artificial Intelligence is a Harley Davidson

Ross Freedman, Co-founder and Board Member
Innovation / Technology

In a 1980 interview for a documentary film, a young Steve Jobs observed, “…the computer is the most remarkable tool that we’ve ever come up with. It’s the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.”

Jobs’ bicycle analogy illustrated the ability of the computer to amplify the power of the human brain. His statement also showed a deep appreciation for the unlimited potential of humans to interact with information and technology. I have no doubt that if Jobs were still with us today he would see how the computer as a ‘bicycle for the mind’ has evolved into something even greater with the proliferation of Artificial Intelligence (AI). I think this means the bicycle for the mind is now more like a Harley Davidson.

AI has been part of our vernacular for more than 60 years. However, for much of that time, the development of AI was limited by the processing speed and storage capacity of computers, not to mention restrictions on funding. Despite these roadblocks, AI research and development continued, but it was recognized by the public in its depictions as twisted science fiction. Think “Terminator” robots destructing mankind.

Today AI is thriving in the age of “big data,” where computer processors can now handle massive amounts of data and turn them into what is practical and useful. Commonly referred to as “machine learning,” new AI applications can absorb vast amounts of data, recognize patterns, and “learn” from them, much as the human brain does.

If they are not already doing so, business owners need to begin factoring in AI to their growth equation. Business owners must recognize this need and ask themselves not if, but how AI can work to improve their business.

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Ross Freedman is the Co-founder and Co-CEO of Rightpoint. Follow Ross on Twitter and LinkedIn.