Welcome to the weekly mailbag edition of The Bleeding Edge. If you have a question you’d like me to answer in a future edition, write to me by clicking right here. Let’s get started…
I am enjoying the content coming from Brownstone publications! Thanks for your focus and input!
I would like to hear your thoughts on an AI focus concept of actual factual data versus contrived/created data. Very recently I reviewed a data discussion around the current climate debates. Proof of man-made global warming or “not.” How would AI weed out the false data so confirmed true facts can come to the surface?
Looking forward to this one helping reduce massive wastes of time and $$$!
– Duane M.
This is a great question, Duane, thanks for sending it in. Like you, I’ve read and heard quite a bit about climate change and global warming. I’m certainly not a climate expert, but what I don’t appreciate is that anyone that challenges the findings by climate scientists is often labeled as a “climate denier” and is ridiculed. After all, before global warming, scientists were convinced we were experiencing global cooling.
It’s possible for AI to be trained on raw climate data and then develop conclusions strictly based on mathematical models, patterns, and formulas.
Climate science is incredibly difficult. There are so many different variables to account for. For instance, increased temperatures could cause increased cloud formations which reflect or block UV radiation. That should help cool the planet. But clouds can also act as insulation trapping heat within the atmosphere. That means clouds during the day could help cool the planet… but at night, they tip into a warming effect.
This is just one example, but it serves to highlight the nuance and complexity needed to model the climate.
The number of variables that get pushed and pulled around as temperatures change is almost beyond human comprehension… much less understanding how they all relate to one another.
AI is better suited for taking on this challenge. The AI models can parse through billions of data points and discover relationships between variables that aren’t obvious to us.
This could help eliminate some of the bias that can exist from “groupthink” or government-funded studies. Over time, we may rely more on AI to determine if global warming is man-made and the potential consequences.
AI can be trained on a wide set of data, including some that are either outliers or not factual. In fact, an AI system could be good at determining factual data versus data that was contrived. This all is being perfected, and it’s still early days. However, I’m confident that in the near future, AI could have a large impact on confirming fact from fiction.
What I’m hopeful for is getting a truly neutral version of AI that can remove human emotion and just deliver a set of facts that is backed up by statistical evidence. Maybe that’s being overly optimistic, but imagine all the arguments it would settle, and like you pointed out – the money it would save!
Good afternoon Colin,
Probably the best book either one of us will read in 2023 is Neil Howe’s The Fourth Turning Is Here. Just started it. He is the modern-day Oracle of Delphi.
– Charles S.
Charles, I couldn’t be more excited to read Neil Howe’s latest book. I really appreciate you alerting us that it’s available. For those that are not aware, Neil Howe and William Strauss published The Fourth Turning in 1997. Unfortunately, I didn’t come across it until the summer of 2022. However, I read it with great fascination based on the backdrop of the prior years as it relates to the pandemic and previous election cycles. I don’t want to spoil it for the subscribers, as it’s a must-read book.
I wasn’t aware Howe has published a follow-up this year until you mentioned it. I ordered a copy in hardback, and it arrived today. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.
Colin, as someone studying AI, I am interested in this. I have defended myself pro bono in at least half a dozen cases due to not affording a lawyer. Sure could have used the help. Do you know what the programs or manner in which these tools are or how they are available to others besides Amazon? Would be really grateful to know.
Thanks for the message, J.T., good question. Obviously, it’s still early days in AI tools being developed for the legal community, but in preparation for Tuesday’s newsletter, I found several.
One was Casetext. This company was acquired by Thomson Reuters in June for $650 million. Built for attorneys, the software helps with reviewing documents, analyzing contracts, and case preparation.
Thomson Reuters also owns a product called Westlaw Edge. It helps attorneys and law firms build strong cases. It can review a brief for accuracy and determine if there’s any case law that either supports or goes against the case being presented.
Various legal tools exist that allow for AI-assisted search of legal documents including LexisNexis.
Most of the tools are aimed at the professional attorney market. However, AI Lawyer claims to provide consultations to anyone that needs a legal opinion.
I believe it’s still too early to rely on an AI program to handle most legal issues. Most of the examples I came across are tools for an attorney or law firm, but it’s not likely going to replace the need for one. However, it will help reduce the time attorneys need to spend on cases, which should help drive down costs and give people better access.
Colin, you asked what areas would be influenced by AI. Here’s two quick ones: Golf caddies will become obsolete. They will be replaced by AR glasses with AI. The second is gourmet cooking. Chefs will become replaceable. Every home and restaurant will have a robotic chef that is connected to the internet. It will order ingredients, prep and cook food, and serve the dishes.
Actual human chefs will convert their new dishes to software that will be uploaded to the internet where people all over the world will be able to partake of the dishes via a download to their personal robotic chef. The human chef will make his or her money from the fees generated by their recipes.
If a person were to spend some time thinking about what areas will be profoundly changed by AI, there is probably no industry that won’t be affected.
– Martin C.
Martin, thanks for writing in. I agree, there’s likely few industries that won’t be affected.
The golf caddy point is really interesting. I can see a day when augmented reality (AR) glasses can help read greens and provide yardages and possibly even swing tips. That would certainly help speed up play and make the game more accessible.
I think we could take things a step further and imagine robots taking over for the professional golfer. Will there be leagues in the future where robots compete instead of humans? I can’t really imagine this myself, but it’s certainly possible.
I also see a day when robotics takes over in the kitchen. Certainly in fast food, we’re already seeing quite a bit of automation, and I think that trend will continue.
The AR aspect of cooking is quite interesting as well. When Apple unveiled its Apple Vision Pro, one use case was actually in a work environment. I could see a day when we could be wearing an AR device that is guiding us through a Gordon Ramsay recipe in our own kitchen. It also could be a good training tool for aspiring chefs or in commercial kitchens as well.
I always think there will be a need for human caddies, which is more of a luxury when playing golf rather than a necessity. Additionally, a fine-dining chef will likely have advantages over robots. However, the ability to augment or reduce the cost and access of these services will be accelerated.
That’s all for this week’s mailbag. Thank you to everyone who wrote in.
If you have a question you’d like me to answer in a future mailbag, feel free to send me a message at [email protected].
Editor, The Bleeding Edge