The 7 levels of AI purgatory and how to escape them

If you’re a human in business today, chances are, artificial intelligence (AI) is not just on your radar, but at the top of your to-do list. Feeling the buzz and the pressure, companies across a wide gamut of industries are gearing up to infuse their processes with AI in order to speed up outcomes, better compete and become disrupters.

By its most general definition, artificial intelligence applies computer science to solving tasks and challenges that we’ve always taken for granted as requiring human intelligence. People have aspired to conquer this technology since the 1940s — long before personal computing, big data or the cloud were even on the table.

The business plans of the next 10,000 startups are easy to forecast: take X and add AI
— Kevin Kelly, Wired

Obviously, though, the biggest strides in AI have occurred only in the last few decades. Thanks to the advent of big data and cloud computing, along with massive growth in computing power, suddenly, AI seems achievable for everyone. No longer the stuff of cloistered academic researchers and deep-pocketed Silicon Valley tech giants, AI is poised to solve real business problems in every arena — healthcare, financial services, transportation, retail, manufacturing, the workplace in general. It’s reached the mainstream, and if your company isn’t embarking on an AI project, you’ll get left behind.

But the reality is, unless you are a deep-pocketed Silicon Valley tech giant, the likelihood you’ll scale and profit from your current AI efforts is pretty small. In fact, your AI project is most likely doomed to fail, or at the very least, cause you and your team so much time, money and sanity that you’ll be sorry you ever embarked upon it.


  1. 01/ Future of artificial intelligence  — Wired
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