ARCHITECHT Daily: Artificial intelligence is not a feature, not a market

Analyst firm IDC released a report predicting that spending on artificial intelligence systems will b
ARCHITECHT Daily: Artificial intelligence is not a feature, not a market
By ARCHITECHT • Issue #52
Analyst firm IDC released a report predicting that spending on artificial intelligence systems will be $12.5 billion in 2017 and more than $46 billion by 2020. Of that $12.5 billion this year, more than one-third ($4.5 billion) will be on applications, for use cases such as threat detection, fraud analysis, public safety and pharmaceutical research. They will represent an even larger overall share of AI spending by 2020.
This is a long way of saying that AI is mostly a feature, not a market unto itself. If you’re selling software for, say, drug discovery, you’re in the drug discovery business. AI, and any other algorithms and technologies you utilize, are just means to that end.
Maybe you saw the news out of Stanford yesterday that researchers there have developed deep learning algorithms to aid in drug discovery, and released their code as the DeepChem library. It might have applicability in other realms of molecular chemistry, but nobody is going to use it for robotics anytime soon. If it’s commercialized, it will almost certainly be sold to pharmaceutical companies.
There is, of course, a market for companies that actually sell AI software that can be trained to do many things (I had the CEO of one of them, Mark Hammond of Bonsai, on the podcast last week) but I think most experts would agree that, for many reasons, that market will be limited in size. 
Applications, devices and other “AI-inside” products are where most of the money will be made. If I’m a CISO and IBM tells me, “Use Watson,” I might laugh it off. If IBM says, “Use our Cognitive SOC, powered by Watson,” then perhaps my ears will perk up.  Buyers don’t buy AI, they buy things that are useful for their jobs in their fields.
I guess what I’m saying is that while it’s important to track the effects of AI in various markets, we don’t want to lose track of the markets themselves. AI is a tool to make other products and systems betters, and at the end of the day it’s those products, systems and the fields they’re advancing that really matter.

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Artificial intelligence
At the risk of sounding cynical, I’ll note that people have fooled AI with offensive content a lot in the past couple years. Perhaps the actual fault lies with advertisers …
If that IDC report above is accurate, New York should be a haven for AI startups. There is a lot of money to be made on Wall Street across risk, trading and security.
I guess it’s good to know what humans look like, in all our walking, dancing, ranting permutations. But seriously, humans do a lot of dumb things near cars that it takes actually knowing humans to predict.
OK, this is really cool. Instead of just using natural language to interface with a database or search engine, the goal here (with travel as the example) is to make artificial agents discern what users really want.
The final paragraph of this letter to the editor, about a recent story on AI replacing attorneys, is spot-on. Law schools—and all professional schools—need to teach students how to excel today. That might include learning about technology and entrepreneurship to pave your own way and maybe even improve the profession.
This is a good overview of how LinkedIn thinks about what its users want to see on their feeds, which is of course much different than what users of other social networks care about.
Your friendly reminder that TensorFlow is not the only deep learning game in town.
This is a few months old, and might paint with a broad brush at times, but it does a valuable service of trying to explain the various different takes on what AI is or should be.  •  Share
Cloud and infrastructure
Care to place bets on when Microsoft will adopt any of Alibaba’s technology? 
FaunaDB might have hit on something really useful here, although I’m sure folks at Google and elsewhere might take issue with some its claims.
This is a smart idea considering that many CIOs and other IT decision-makers look at containers as a vehicle for cloud portability. But monetizing Distelli’s product, Europa, could prove tricky given the current dynamics of the container space.
The reporter’s theory here makes some sense, if Dell relies on PC orders to get better bulk discounts. It is not a good time to be in the server biz.
Google is pushing hardware makers, and software engineers, to crank up their speed to deal with the needs of modern low-latency data center workloads.
Not sure what to make of this, to be honest. Former CEO Bob Wiederhold had been in the position since 2010, when NoSQL was still the next big thing. 
It will now help customers migrate to whichever cloud they please. Man, how times have changed.  •  Share
In case you didn’t know that yet. This post breaks down some of the differences between the various flavors of quantum computing as they strive to be both fast and accurate.
It will reportedly be based on the tech that powers the cashier-less store in Seattle. This can’t be surprising—cloud providers strive for feature parity, if nothing else—but I’d be surprised if AWS’s offering were as narrow as retail items.
All things data
Maybe, maybe not. Snap has a $24B market cap. And we’ve seen several tech stock fly high and then crash over the past couple years—including, recently, Twilio. 
Plug in your marketing apps, get data dashboards. How is this problem not solved yet?
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