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AI Weekly: The human element of AI

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This week the VB team went all out: We spent two days with some of the brightest minds in AI. Companies like Google, Pinterest, Lyft, LinkedIn, Amazon, and Walmart joined us alongside startups like Amplero, Datorama, Persado, and Clari.

What was most surprising was not the efficiency gains or improvements in ROI or CTR, though that’s all notable. More surprising were examples like talk of the importance of humility with AI at Indeed, the mistake of ignoring customers and noise in data that Pinterest brought up, or how AI was first brought to Cisco by a small group of believers.

While billions are being invested to train machines, implementing AI is still a process that requires a lot of manual intervention from the flawed, ingenious, fallible animals called humans. We’re the ones who decide which models to use, which parameters are correct, and what data is worth feeding into the system. We’re the ones who help instill bias, overfit models, and launch a thousand failed experiments to find the one that works. In the golden age of AI, every nail is potentially the target of an AI hammer, making it ultimately reliant on human decisions to make the technology efficient, smart, and life-improving.

It’s a big, expensive question, but one that’s going to affect everyone on Earth. Where to implement AI, what kind to deploy, and what’s best for customers escapes many businesses still — even some of the big, deep-pocketed companies.

It may sound cliché, but the best part of the two-day event wasn’t the dank datasets or forward-thinking insights. It was meeting and shaking the hands of people who are in the trenches working to traverse AI’s challenges.

To see a complete rundown of coverage, visit the VB Summit page.

Thanks for reading,

Khari Johnson and Blair Hanley Frank

AI staff writers

P.S. Please enjoy this video: The AI Race

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