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What’s an algorithm to think?

What’s an algorithm to think?

Posted on 18th May 2020

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If, like me, you are more than a bit fed up reading and hearing medical experts (and journalists) disagreeing with each other as they strive to unlock the secrets of the coronavirus, there is always the hope that you can rely on the tech world to get things right. That is until you read a bit further and discover that the Imperial College modelling upon which lockdown is/was based was written in code that is so old that even dinosaurs sneer at it. Then there is the world of AI, which, one would hope, would provide a means of analysing zillions of data and coming up with answers.  

That much was suggested back in February, when articles such as this one suggested that AI could help us fight the next virus.  On the other hand, we have articles such as this, which point out that AI has occasionally had difficulties in understanding some of the changes in human behaviour that have been taking place recently, summed up best by this quote from that article: 

“After the crisis began people in the US started looking to buy guns, the French red wine and Britons searched for toilet roll and hand sanitiser...”

This, potentially has profound consequences for supply chains that make extensive use of AI.  The poor wee algorithms have been trying to understand what’s going on … and like the rest of us it seems that a few of them have struggled at times.  It must make them feel almost human…

Scott Bentley, Be-IT


Posted in News, Opinion

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