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But do you really need AI?

I saw this article in Dr Dobbs recently (thanks Mark) - AI: It's OK Again! by Michael Swaine. Michael begins with a discussion of the "seemingly genetic propensity to overpromise" prevalent in AI circles and then gives a nice update on where things stand. Me, I think that most business systems do not need to be intelligent, do not need AI. As you can tell from the title of the book - Smart (Enough) Systems - I believe that proven technology (business rules, predictive analytics, optimization) combined with a focus on decisions (and decision services) and adaptive control can make a typical dumb application smart enough to be useful. To quote a blog posting by Tom Davenport (author of Competing on Analytics):

"By the way, if you want to read more about automated decision systems, don't bother going back to the AI hypesters. Instead, pick up Smart (Enough) Systems: How to Deliver Competitive Advantage by Automating Hidden Decisions"

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