Pondering a World With AI

What do I know about Artificial Intelligence? What do you know about Artificial Intelligence? It almost sounds like an oxymoron to the unfamiliar ear. Anyone can understand a little about AI. Some can understand a lot about AI. But anyone who says he or she understands AI completely is a liar. It’s a barely explored landscape when you get down to it.

Then there is the fear of the unknown power of AI and usually the movie Terminator comes to mind. And that is exactly what one of the smartest, richest men in the world thinks as well. You might have heard that Elon Musk has sounded the alarm more than once about the coming of AI. All the while, Musk could just go along with the AI wave and make billions. However, other men and women equally smart and rich take the opposite view of AI and promote it as the next great age in human development.

My view is all that is great, but when I try to copy and paste a paragraph and it ends up somewhere other than what I directed, I tend to swear. If by chance I am successful in a simple computer instruction that I have given my Mac, well “HALLELUJAH!” I yell out loud, friend.  So my point is, I get terribly frustrated and way too tickled with something, every time I power up. And usually I voice it to no one in particular.

If you have similar moments, or if you just like knowing there is someone worse at understanding computing than you are, then you’ve come to the right spot. If typos make you nuts, or you have accidentally erased valuable information, and yelled “OH HELL NO!”, then we are already no longer strangers.

But whether you are on board with AI, or if you are terrified of Skynet and robot wars, there is no doubt that the Age of AI is here: it’s like having a wizard’s wand in many of today’s professions, though it’s only barely begun, so I’m thinking we should probably catch up a little with the folks who are leading this revolution in civilization.

With the multiplicity of products already on the market that are changing our lives in wonderful ways, the prospect for AI and everything it holds for our futures is staggering . Autonomous cars will be safer and less expensive to operate. Medicine will make gigantic strides in robotic surgeries. Just as online shopping has repainted the face of commerce around the world, AI will change the way almost EVERYTHING gets done. And we probably won’t even be aware of most of it. Unless, of course, you check in with Seeflection.com everyday.

The company providing this space for me to write this to you, Seeflection, is located in Arizona. Yes, it gets hot. Yes we love guns and ‘Murica. But we are also home to major tech companies, such as Intel and GoDaddy. Did you know that Bill Gates decided to build a high-tech, futuristic city right here in the homeland of Alice Cooper, Sandra Day O’Connor and Barry Goldwater? You will be hearing, watching and reading original stories that we will be posting weekly about AI activities, people and corporations both local and international in scope. Explaining the basics is my job.

I’ll confess right here that I don’t know anything about computers: my home computer is a wood-burning Dell from Hell, model A-1-A or something like that; I have a smart phone that is far smarter than I; I can handle email, Facebook and YouTube and I can save my photos with out too much difficulty, but that’s about it.

As we have been preparing this website and the branches of Seeflection explained in the landing page, I have started to absorb some of the terms needed to write about computers and their functions. Hell, I even got acquainted with words like blockchain, quantum computing, big data, machine learning, IoT, and hundreds more doohickies that I’ll be pounding out stories about.

But to say I understand them would be “fake news.” My job is to condense some of these stories into amateur-level prose.

If you are in a similar position, meaning that you have a desire for a better understanding of how on earth Alexa knows everything you ask her, or if you ever wonder how the Coke machine at the drugstore notifies the Coke warehouse that it’s out of Diet Coke without a single human being involved in the transaction from warehouse to machine, well, so do I. We can learn some of this stuff together every week. There’s so much I don’t know or barely know, that this column could last for another 20 years, should I live that long.

I know I should know more about the common everyday laptop and its programs and applications, but I don’t. I’m over 65, and it wasn’t required in my previous professions. So, since I have an excellent editor, a genius owner and some very talented co-workers, I can assure you, that I will get facts and information presented for you with hardly any mistakes. I’m kidding: make that no mistakes. Together we can build an understanding of what AI and those other tech-heavy products will do to improve your life in magical ways, no matter who you are or what you do, or where you come from.

Samuel Colt may have been credited with inventing the Peacemaker pistol that made men more “equal,” but in this, the Age of AI, the new technologies promise to make people equally happy, equally healthy and maybe equally wealthy, or at least not broke. Let’s explore this new era together.