To liberate the full potential of machine learning as fast as possible, CIOs, CEOs, and society in general, must first get over fears of losing control.
By now we should know that machines tend to uplift our quality of life. Over the past 100 years or so, the unfolding of each new breakthrough technology — from electricity to the automobile to the internet — has brought trepidation, then ultimately acceptance. Despite these past experiences, our society seems to have a peculiarly strong resistance to the latest technologies that are radically transforming our lives: artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).
Perhaps that is not so unreasonable, as the AI/ML revolution is quite different from the revolutions that came before it: It involves giving up, rather than increasing, our control over machines. The internet may be a disruptive force, even an anarchic one, but at the end of the day, it is under human power. A web page will always do what a human web designer or programmer coded it to do, bugs and glitches notwithstanding. ML models are a different thing altogether. Yes, we humans set up the parameters within which they run, but ultimately, they make decisions according to logic our minds can’t always interpret.