Machine Learning, AI, and Data Products

AI Is the New Black

It is quite clear that machine learning and artificial intelligence are here to stay and rapidly expanding. Ten years ago, designers and businesspeople could avoid the complexity of thinking about advanced data solutions, but those days are gone. Ten years from now, any company that ignores AI might not be a company anymore.

In this section, our goal is not to develop a deep understanding of machine learning, but rather to think about how we can design for it and use it to build value in ways that we couldn’t do otherwise.

Think: New Speed, Not New Knowledge

The most dangerous temptation when working with AI is to imagine that it “knows” things it doesn’t know.

The best way to think about artificial intelligence is what I often call “fancy counting.” An AI model is really just a set of rules about what to count and how to count. It might count the relationships between words or it might give a score to 100 different traits of people based on their movie choices or it might count how much electricity capacity is being used at different places in a city. It can’t count what isn’t in the data.

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