back to article Low AI rollout caused by dumb, fashion-victim management – Gartner

Pointy-Haired Bosses* are splashing AI about their organisations without a clue about why they're doing it, says a senior Gartner analyst. "As head of customer experience, the logic is: we have to deploy AI because everyone else is doing it. In fact, there's not a huge number of companies that are actually deploying AI," …

  1. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Over-hyped, over-paid and over here

    It would amuse me to discover that the PHBs who had fallen for all the inexpert system == AI hype had pad too much attention to articles churned out by a bot.

    In other news, the Darwin Awards can expect a resurgence of applicants.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: had pad too much attention to articles churned out by a bot

      Like the ones about conferences conferences conferences? :-)

    2. Mike 125

      Re: Over-hyped, over-paid and over here

      @Rich 11

      Re: your link: (IMHO) biggest mistake Mr Musk made was going so hard on 'Autopilot'. Autopilot is why I don't want a Tesla. Beating the pants of any petrol road car is why I *do*. And I suspect that's the case for many potential buyers. If he'd just focussed on electric and performance, life would've been so much simpler. So I guess that's evidence that anyone can get caught up in the hype.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Over-hyped, over-paid and over here

        "biggest mistake Mr Musk made was going so hard on 'Autopilot'"

        I would only buy an electric car if it had an "autopilot" capable of fully autonomous driving.

        Musk's aim of mass market penetration of electric cars can only happen when the charging issue is solved. Charging a car at a garage takes a long time, especially if you have to wait for other people to charge theirs first. A lot of people park in the street where mass charging is never going to be practical. Fully autonomous driving solves that problem with the car driving itself to a charging center, perhaps in the dead of night or middle of the working day when its not being used.

        1. cs9

          Re: Over-hyped, over-paid and over here

          "I would only buy an electric car if it had an "autopilot" capable of fully autonomous driving."

          Didn't you hear? Musky promised that fully autonomous driving is going to be delivered via an over-the-air update in August of this year. No word on if the system will finally be able to detect stationary objects or not. Perhaps they found a way to send out new hardware over the air as well. More apt then ever "your mileage may vary".

        2. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: Over-hyped, over-paid and over here

          Charging a car at a garage takes a long time

          It does.

          However, if I'm on a long trip and stopping to eat, then its more or less manageable. If I'm on my commute, I can charge up overnight (off road parking).

          especially if you have to wait for other people to charge theirs first

          That, for me, is the real problem. A 45 min charge when I'm on a long trip is fine, unless I'm second or worse in a queue, then its not.

          An electric car doesn't solve my commuter problem because the main issue is traffic and moronic driving on the part of others. All others, it seems. Full autonomous might solve that problem if I could trust it and retrofit the car with a desk and a bed instead of seats.

          What's far more interesting to me is the range of electric motorbikes coming on line - these could be a real option for me, but I'm still not convinced surviving to retirement is of sufficiently great odds commuting to and through London every day.

          1. Multivac

            Re: Over-hyped, over-paid and over here

            I've often wondered why people like Tesla don't supply a range extender, a battery that'll fit on the car like a roof box, could easily gain a couple of hundred miles there, and if you could swap an empty one for a charged one at a service station that would be better, and have the whole thing covered by some sort of subscription/rental service.

            Imagine if all the cars negotiated with each other and synced up their entry and exit to junctions and roundabouts. I only ride a motorbike because of two points on my journey to work where traffic flows cross paths and massive queues form, if the whole thing was automated and orchestrated by a computer it would be free flowing all the way.

            1. Ledswinger Silver badge

              Re: Over-hyped, over-paid and over here

              Re: traffic flows: "if the whole thing was automated and orchestrated by a computer it would be free flowing all the way"

              Citation needed.

              All the examples I can think of for computer-improved traffic flow aren't very good adverts for the silicon brains. Since the collective intelligence of a few thousand humans would give you quite a lot of FLOPS, probably well beyond the capacity available for a computer managing a few miles of road, it would seem that computer control has to rely more on a set of robust and fairly simple algos than on AI and real time processing, and even then stands a good chance of great expense but no improvement.

    3. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge

      Re: Over-hyped, over-paid and over here

      Ai has become pretty good at playing chess and go and more applications are expected before this century is over. In the year 2525, maybe citizens no longer have to vote in ballots, as computers choose politicians. A thousand years onwards, computers could replace politicians altogether.

  2. SVV Silver badge

    AI Customer service bots

    My mobile operator has installed one of these in recent months, and if you haven't experienced the wow factor of this amazing new AI technology, let me tell you it will just blow your mind. As correctly stated in the article instead of "Press 6 for sales", the "exciting new change" that the recorded voice tells you at length about every time you call means that you now say what you want instead. It then repeats what the voice recognition software thinks you said back at you and asks "You said sales. Is this correct?" and you have to say "yes". Then it connects you through to the sales team, haing taken about 30 seconds longer than just dialling the support number, pressing number 6 which you know is sales and being put through instantly without haing to listen to the menu options.

    For the adanced coders among you, the key skill that would have to mastered here so that you can apparently put "AI chatbot systems" on your cv would appear to be something like changing the old code

    if (menuOption == 6) { transferToSales(); }

    to the fabby new

    if (spokenKeywords.contain("sales")) { transferToSales(); }

    Get those cvs polished now folks!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: AI Customer service bots

      "My mobile operator has installed one of these in recent months, and if you haven't experienced the wow factor of this amazing new AI technology, let me tell you it will just blow your mind."

      That's assuming it can understand what you want.

      I'd been trying and failing to get a 2nd credit card issued on my business card account. The Barclaycard website is un-navigable; their voice-activated answering system (AI? God knows) didn't understand my request, no matter how I phrased it; I couldn't find a way of speaking to an operator; the local Barclays branch wouldn't help because I don't have a Barclays bank account. The best they could do was give me a telephone with which to call the number on the card, and leave me to deal with Computer again.

      On the verge of giving up, I had a brainwave. After confirming again that Computer couldn't understand my simple request, I said: "I'd like to close my account." "You want to close your account? Please wait while I put you through to someone who can help." Bingo. The human who came on the line a few seconds later to talk me out of closing my account understood the sentence "I'd like a 2nd card on my business credit card account, please."

      From now on, my SOP when dealing with voice-activated answering systems is going to be "I want to close my account, please." That'll get me a human to speak to like a shot.

      1. Cpt Blue Bear

        Re: AI Customer service bots

        "From now on, my SOP when dealing with voice-activated answering systems is going to be "I want to close my account, please." That'll get me a human to speak to like a shot."

        This sort of thing is exactly what I find so profoundly depressing about the world just now. Find someone who grew up in the Soviet Union or one of its satellites. They will have numerous stories to parallel this of ways people actually got things done in spite of the system.

        On the upside, the "Saves Dept" inmates will get their service stats up and probably get a bonus.

        Franz Kafka didn't know the half of it.

  3. Andrew Moore Silver badge

    My tuppence worth...

    As AI seems to have very limited skillset, surely it's ripe to replace PHBs/middle manglement.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: PHB

      Is that Pointy-Haired Bot? The world is gradually catching up with Douglas Adams:

      “It could always be replaced,” said Benji reasonably, “if you think it’s important.”

      “Yes, an electronic brain,” said Frankie, “a simple one would suffice.”

      “A simple one!” wailed Arthur.

      “Yeah,” said Zaphod with a sudden evil grin, “you’d just have to program it to say What? and I don’t understand and Where’s the tea? – who’d know the difference?”

      “What?” cried Arthur, backing away still further.

      “See what I mean?” said Zaphod

  4. Alister Silver badge

    Low AI rollout caused by the fact that

    Artificial Intelligence is not generally available yet, as despite the hijacking of the term, data-mining != AI.

    Among PHBs, human intelligence is pretty scarce too.

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Low AI rollout caused by the fact that

      Or rather, it is not available yet, at all. Performing statistical analysis on large datasets is not how the human brain works.

      1. Alister Silver badge

        Re: Low AI rollout caused by the fact that

        Or rather, it is not available yet, at all.

        There are glimmers of AI in various labs around the world, which are attempting to mimic the operation of the human brain, using neural nets and other techniques, but no, mining datasets is not AI.

        As I said above, the term Artificial Intelligence has been hijacked by marketing types to mean data manipulation, but it is NOT, by any stretch of the imagination, intelligence of any kind.

  5. 0laf Silver badge

    Can I bid?

    Cloud based synergies committed to digital transformation in an agile AI led big data environment.

    That's my thing, can I have a 20 million quid please? I dunno what it looks like no but it'll be very very shiny and run on your iPhone or Chromebook.

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Can I bid?

      No. There's no blockchain. Nobody will take you seriously if you don't put it on a blockchain.

    2. Naselus Silver badge

      Re: Can I bid?

      Does it come in ecosystem?

  6. Korev Silver badge
    Boffin

    Not surprisingly too, only a small majority wanted an AI to replace a teacher, lawyer, shrink or doctor.

    On the other hand, cancer drug treatments decided on by a machine are an excellent example of where machine learning is very handy. It's impossible for a human to comprehend the mutlivariate data generated by modern profiling (think a five figure number of variables) so a computer is the only way to do it.

    1. Brian Miller Silver badge

      Isn't the testing phase a little worrisome, though? "Here, take these pills, the computer said so." Oops, there was an off-by-one and also a rounding error.

      Game over, you're dead. Please stand by to respawn...

      "The computer is your friend..."

  7. Cesar Maciel

    This is a very biased evaluation. If the performance of the AI system is the same as a human, then there is not a motivation to use it (one can argue about cost reduction in the long run, etc, but most companies will not do that unless there are immediate productivity gains also).

    However, there are many tasks that are being executed today by AI systems (just using the term so that I don't have to write "machine learning, deep learning" all the time) that are more efficient than humans - computer vision, for specialized activities, is one example (such as image tagging and classification, content tagging, etc). And as mentioned before, cancer diagnostic and treatment has been a sweet spot for AI systems. Using computer vision to identify skin cancer proved to be more accurate than trained oncologists. (see the two posted links below).

    In my opinion, dealing with an AI-based "personal interaction" suffers the same problem of fear of the unknown as nuclear energy - most people are against it because they do not comprehend it, and don't care to learn about it.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/ibm-watson-proper-diagnosis-doctors-stumped-article-1.2741857

    http://www.kxxv.com/story/38309412/ai-detects-skin-cancer-better-than-dermatologists-in-international-study

  8. doug_bostrom

    "But to make it work there needs to be a business value proposition. The key point is the customer journey."

    Drank the Kool Aid.

  9. Grikath Silver badge

    AI rollout......

    SERIOUSLY ??!!!!!!!!

  10. StuntMisanthrope Bronze badge

    New character. The PHB's source. Fuckwit.

    Garnter's accuracy with the crystal ball. 0%. Gartner's conflict of interest. 100%. #bungmethecashtheinternshot

    1. StuntMisanthrope Bronze badge

      Re: New character. The PHB's source. Fuckwit.

      Ssssh, you asked your boy with the calculator about #codswallop Yep. We’re in the market.

  11. IceC0ld Bronze badge

    Pointy-Haired Bosses*

    I always thought he was a Pointy Headed Bastard ....................

    but even though I now know differently, I will still think MY version whenever I see him in the strip :o)

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That picture needs a caption

    "Ok, you said you wanted to help in case I bought GitHub..."

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

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