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Disruptive AI Bots Are Aleady Delivering Radical Leaps In Productivity ( 56

The CTO of Textio is describing the "already happening" AI disruption that no one's noticed, arguing that voice-activated assistants are "just one small part of what AI is about -- and not the part that will matter the most for the enterprise companies that actually buy almost $4 trillion in software and services each year." An anonymous reader writes: Jensen Harris describes "the less-flashy flavor of AI that is changing the nature of work itself: headless AI...the application of artificial intelligence to vastly improve internal business processes. It is fully transforming the crucial machinery of business -- processes like hiring, lead generation, financial modeling, and information security. Legacy software has become a commodity in all of these areas, and purpose-built AI solutions will get a larger and larger wallet share of these huge enterprise cost centers."

Combining machine intelligence with learning loops, these constantly-evolving algorithms are "where the money is," since headless AI "doesn't try to replace people; it gives them superpowers" -- for example, predicting the future. Harris ultimately argues that headless AI are delivering "radical productivity leaps that they haven't seen from software in decades... In the near future, every core business function will have been transformed by AI -- hiring, sales, security, marketing, finance, manufacturing...everything... Legacy software will get squeezed down into a smaller portion of the IT wallet as the most valuable services become the native AI platforms -- just as form-based desktop software got squeezed out by the cloud in the last generation... the real enterprise revolution is happening in the companies that are using headless AI to transform their core businesses."

By comparison, he argues that many of today's bots "are kind of a hipster facade around the same basic command line interfaces consumers abandoned in the 1980," and suggests this focus on personality misses the larger significance of behind-the-scenes AI.
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Disruptive AI Bots Are Aleady Delivering Radical Leaps In Productivity

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  • by Lije Baley ( 88936 ) on Sunday April 16, 2017 @02:09PM (#54245423)

    Sounds redundant. But basically true. Seriously though, there is very little substance in the latest "AI revolution", just like every other "AI revolution" in the last 70 years. The solutions still lack adequate knowledge of context and still push tricks and training depth beyond their effective limits.

    • Don't mock him! He was making fun of hipsters long before it was mainstream. You probably just never heard his rants before.

    • I've been working professionally as a developer for well over two decades now, both server side for many years, and also more recently in mobile development.

      The current AI revolution is NOT A FAD. I repeat, not a fad.

      The advancements in what neural networks can do, and do well has advanced in even just the last few years, Sure ten years ago you were right as to what AI or neural networks specifically could do well, would not amount to much. But not today, and certainly not tomorrow.

      I think perhaps puttin

      • Actually, you can put those advancements under the AI flag, because the now the "real" AI problems have all been moved under the AGI flag, leaving AI to be just the kind of useful tools for certain jobs that you are talking about.

        I think self-driving cars are the great litmus test of how far the current "revolution" will go. In the next few years, we will see whether they will be capable of driving independently with enough competence to be lawful and insurable, or whether they continue to remain on their

  • "Disruptive" (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Sunday April 16, 2017 @02:16PM (#54245437)

    Smelling some serious Silicon Valley marketing bullshit in here. Damn, the whole summary is a buzzword bingo paradise. Question: what AI *isn't* "headless"? He just means "non-customer facing", right? Don't overload the term in confusing ways.

    Am I just grumpy this morning, or is this summary as asinine as it seems to me right now? Not only is this schmuck cranking the AI hype train whistle up to 11, he's not nearly as insightful as he thinks it is. Um, yeah, no kidding that AI (a fancy term for advanced data analysis, mostly) will be useful to businesses, instead of the stupid chat bots now being displayed. And yeah, it seems pretty obvious it's not going to put everyone out of work (at least not in the short term), but will just be another tool people use.

    Maybe I'm just getting tired of the over-hyping of AI. Almost makes me miss the 3D printing fad.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      AI is the 3D printing of 2017.

    • by Mitreya ( 579078 )

      Um, yeah, no kidding that AI (a fancy term for advanced data analysis, mostly) will be useful to businesses, instead of the stupid chat bots now being displayed.

      How appropriate that a previous story talks about AI algorithms deployed in the real world can be easily confused by knowledgeable attackers. []

    • He just means "non-customer facing", right?

      I think you are just grumpy this morning.

      What he means is what he says - you can have an AI helper that you can talk to, and replies in a seemingly intelligent manner, without having all the self awareness, and the OMG! Bots are going to murder us in our beds!! nonsense we have had from Steven Hawking, or the singularity quasi-rapture predictions of Kurzweil et al. The first implementation of AI's is probably going to be something that will be guided by humans rather than replacing them. Cars that drive

    • disruption that no one's noticed

      Is it really a disruption then?

    • by epine ( 68316 )

      I'm a card-carrying Goldman Sachs conspiracy theorist. I really do think they systematically rig the market to their ultimate advantage, one ballsy five- or ten-year bamboozle after another.

      Their main obstacle is that it's very hard to fool people twice with the same bullshit, so there always has to be a new fundamental disruption lurking around the next corner. I don't yet know what AI really is, but I sure know it's covered in fleece.

      A sure tell is the narrative of nested boxes: each shiny thing within

  • Can we have AI that will tell us how exaggerated these claims about AI are?

    It's too bad we can't just get information on topics like this. It has to be amazing and dramatic!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Yes, all the functions mentioned benefit from ML algorithms. There are startups applying the whole range of stuff you'll find in MLlib, scikit-learn, etc. to these problem domains.

    This is hardly article worthy and "headless AI" is pretty meaningless and lame as a catch phrase. Nothing new here.

    When practitioners use the word AI, we know we are being a bit tongue in cheek with it. But most of what people in the industry would call (weak) AI is really conversational AI and other hard NLP/NLG problems, and com

  • When the AI headless robots come, count me in with the robot smashers.

  • Don’t claim these AI bot’s don’t or won’t replace people. Remember the golden rule. “The Goal of business is to make money”. Period. Without that goal you have socialism.
    If a company can replace IT Security Staff, Doctors, Lawyers,-what ever - you can darn well bet they will. It’s a fiduciary requirement of the CEO as he is beholden to the board of directors and stock holders to produce a return on investment.
    Don’t be naïve.
    • > Without that goal you have socialism

      No, without that goal you have either non-profit organizations, or at worst, Communism, neither of which is a bad thing.

      > It’s a fiduciary requirement [...]

      Only if the business' charter says so. A business' finances can be structured however they want, so long as it's all legal (ethical would be nice, too).

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Sunday April 16, 2017 @03:53PM (#54245685)
    you're replacing people. Maybe they'll find other work. Maybe their departments will grow a little. But if the change really is radical and that's not just hyperbole than the rest of the economy won't be able to keep up. That's what happened with the industrial revolution. 80 years of unemployment strife and poverty before there was enough new tech to start employing folks in mass again...
  • by Northdot ( 1585317 ) on Sunday April 16, 2017 @03:54PM (#54245695)

    Who would have guessed that an article written by a vendor of AI software says not only that it gives you superpowers, but if you don't jump on the train now your business is totally f*cked.

  • Apparently, if you're just another talking head in a suit that needs to sound cool and in-touch, "disruptive" is now the goto buzz-word.

    I wonder how long it will be before it sounds just as cliche as "Synergy", "Leverage", "Win-Win", and "Outside the box".

  • It isn't like the 'meat' in every organization hasn't been attempting to implement screamingly obvious increases in efficiency, for hundreds of years. So there will have to be a Headless Headless ( H^2 ) to filter the results from the Headless Bots:
    H^2 Bot: "You must be new here."
    H^2 Bot: "We have always done it this way"
    H^2 Bot: "It will make the 'X' feel bad"
    H^2 Bot: "That isn't your department"
    H^2 Bot: "Their is a team working on that already"
    H^2 Bot: "We tried that before, and it didn't work"
  • And everybody will go paperless, right?
  • When the AI bot decides the future of me based on my past, does this not create a feedback loop? Suppose one has a couple of trying years due to family leave, changing job market, changing jobs. Does AI figure this out and "give one a break", or is this a quick and easy way to say "no discrimination here, the computer is color blind, including being blind to the struggles of humanity."
  • Maybe we could get some AI to filter out articles by people who self-promote their companies or products.

  • As we understand how people do work and optimize on that work using technology then yes the systems will start taking over that work. This has been happening since the steam engine. The work today is more complex, but selling items to people is the same and it can be optimized. The business that use technology in a different way to gain an advantage will win out over those that don't.
    The current AI works for some things and not others, good a pattern recognition, but it will need to have a better higher lev

  • I'm still waiting for someone to release box. It's in Star Cops.

A committee takes root and grows, it flowers, wilts and dies, scattering the seed from which other committees will bloom. -- Parkinson