Big data, AI, machine learning, block chain, and every other cool new tech words are all really just that–words. To a developer or computer scientist, they are a type of tool to solve specific problems. But to the typical everyday person, they are just the words that every marketing person is throwing on advertisements. So many companies today are leveraging these terms and saying they can sell you magic in a bag for x amount of dollars a year, when in reality they can’t. They are just poaching people who are not really educated on the technology behind these terms, but feel like they have to incorporate them into their workflow to stay relevant.
Every time we go to a conference, we always get to see people stand in front of others and promote tools using these techniques, but when you ask them about how they are working, they just fall back to other cool new hip words.
For example: How does your software work? “We use big data from the cloud”… oh cool thanks… that definitely answers my question. These technologies are deceptively intricate, and branding them with cool catchphrases is nice for marketing, but does not really give anything to the end user or even potential clients. If you are talking with someone and they cannot actually tell you the workings of their software, odds are their software is about as competent as they are.
The next problem with all of these technologies is the _big brother_ aspect they have. Everyone is terrified of what information companies have, or even worse, who is buying it. All of the cool hip gotcha terms of today use ridiculous amounts of data to even get to be able to do simple tasks.
So you first need to know: Where did they get their training data, for all of the legal and moral reasons. Second: What is being done with the input I am giving? Are they reusing that to train on? Is this being saved off? Is it being sold?
So you have to ask yourself: Do you work in a place that can openly share data with whoever, what is that company’s policy on sharing said data, and how is it being used once it is inside of their system?
Lastly, and I want to be very clear, I am not advocating against any of these technologies, they are all phenomenal tools that solve problems basic programming techniques could never have. I am advocating against the use of catch phrases in marketing, and more so against people feeling the need to invest in these technologies without the proper understanding of what they do and the drawbacks they have, and the people who try and sell these without understanding how they work.
To work with people who use these technologies, can tell you how they work, do not store your data, and do not sell it, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.