The biggest misconception about artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is perhaps the most hyped yet misunderstood field of study today.

IBM Research Vice President of AI Science Alexander Gray addressed the illusory nature of AI on Friday at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s 20th annual Venture Capital and Innovation Conference.

“The biggest misconception is that we have it. I wouldn’t even call it AI. I would say it’s right to call the field AI, we’re pursuing AI, but we don’t have it yet,” he said.

As an expert who has spent his career deeply entrenched in AI, having founded machine-learning software company Skytree, and teaching computing at George Institute of Technology, Gray says at present, humans are still sorely needed.

“No matter how you look at it, there’s a lot of handcrafting [involved]. We have ever increasingly powerful tools but we haven’t made the leap yet,” he added.

Whether it’s Google’s computer program AlphaGo or Sophia the so-called humanoid robot, the technological hurdles of robots to replace humans is coming, but it’s definitely not now.

According to Gray, we’re only seeing “human-level performance” for narrowly defined tasks. Most machine learning-based algorithms have to analyze thousands of examples, and haven’t achieved the idea of one-shot or few-shot learnings.

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