Compass
Compass (source: Walt Stoneburner on Flickr)

In this episode of the O’Reilly Bots Podcast, Pete Skomoroch and I recap O’Reilly Bot Day, held October 19, 2016, in San Francisco. The event gave us a good picture of what the bot community—and bot landscape—looks like, and the diverse group of attendees conveyed a strong sense of optimism about bots. Slides from Bot Day presentations are available here.

We then speak with Shivon Zilis, partner at Bloomberg Beta, who has written extensively about artificial intelligence and its impact on a variety of industries. She wrote influential surveys of what she calls machine intelligence in 2014 and 2015, and she’s planning to publish her 2016 update at the end of October.

Discussion points:

  • Where “agents” (which Zilis calls “things we can trust that act as an extension of ourselves”) fit into the landscape of machine intelligence
  • The impact that bots and AI agents will have on the future of work
  • How the current AI hype cycle is creating, in Zilis’ words, “a tendency to throw AI at every problem”
  • Can startups even compete in the AI landscape against large players like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook?
  • The impact of open source machine learning libraries like Google’s TensorFlow