Hype in artificial intelligence has reached breaking point

Artificial intelligence is undoubtedly about to transform our world – see Tesla’s autonomous cars or Google’s AI that learnt parkour on its own – but it’s not fully-baked just yet.That hasn’t stopped hundreds, if not thousands, of companies from using the term ‘AI’ indiscriminately. “Similar to greenwashing, in which companies exaggerate the environmental-friendliness of their products or practices for business benefit, many technology vendors are now ‘AI washing’ by applying the AI label a little too indiscriminately,” argues Gartner’s research VP Jim Hare today, and he’s spot on. AI gone wild You can buy an AI mirror, an AI fridge and yes, even an AI egg timer. Chatbots are among the worst offenders, whether for cooking, parenting or fashion. Dressing up automated Q&A conversation trees as ‘artificial intelligence’, it’s actually just a digital version of that choose-your-own-adventure story book from when you were a kid. Are voice interfaces parsing basic commands like “weather, today” and spitting out whatever result AccuWeather delivers, really artificially intelligent?

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