Technology Briefings

The hype has eclipsed the limitations of third-wave artificial intelligence

Mark Nitzberg, Timo Seppala, and John Zysman

Originally posted on the website of ETLA, the Research Institute on the Finnish Economy, December 5, 2019

The near-term potential of “artificial intelligence” is often overestimated. In this commentary on BRIE's Technology Briefing on AI and statistical inference, we argue that we must clarify today's AI software is realistically suitable for and capable of, assess how and to what extent it relates to the development of the next generation of AI, and contemplate whether we can solve certain problems by applying alternate, more reliable technologies and software solutions. Download the full briefing.

AI and Domain Knowledge: Implications of the Limits of Statistical Inference

Drafted by Christopher Eldred

Based on presentations by Michael Borrus and Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli

Significant editorial contributions from John Zysman and Mark Nitzberg

October 2019

Today's AI is certainly powerful. But reliant as most of these systems are on machine learning, they have fundamental limitations. And these limitations have implications for AI’s development, application, and impact in the coming years. This paper will first describe machine learning’s fundamental nature as a form of statistical inference, and explore how this constricts effective use of today’s AI to certain kinds of problem domains. Through the lens of this limitation, it will then take a position in three debates over how AI will unfold. Download the full briefing.

5G: Revolution or Hype?

Christopher Eldred, Martin Kenney, Kenji Kushida, Jonathan Murray, and John Zysman, September 2019

Is 5G revolutionary? Will the “fifth generation” of wireless technology not only update our network from 4G, but spark deep and widespread change across economies, industries, and the lives of consumers? 5G hype certainly abounds. But the theory of 5G is difficult to put into practice. Despite the drumbeat of hype, it is not clear how quickly 5G will be deployed. Just as unclear is how transformative 5G will be when it does arrive. This paper will explore the promises and limitations of 5G through the lens of four critical issues. Download the full briefing.