Is it really AI?

Bart Wilson

I've been doing some research on the state of AI.  Depending on who you talk to, what we think is AI isn't really AI.  The word some people focus on to argue this is "intelligence".  In order to be intelligent, you need to be able to "learn" from an interaction, not just follow a simple decision tree.

Anyway, what is your definition of AI?  What does it need to do to be useful and valuable to your dealership?

Derrick Woolfson

@Bart, I see "AI" as a means of "evaluating" data points, understanding the relevancy, and how those "data points" are connected. Namely, what information is necessary to "share." For example, if CRM's were to adapt 'true' AI. The AI would learn "key words," and understand the patterns in which the customer corresponds to the data sent via text, email, etc. Allowing us - on the dealer level - to know which times are best to communicate with the potential customer. 

Jason Volny

I agree. A lot of people are throwing that term around, however, does anyone really have the true AI? After years of sci-fi cinema exposure, is my expectation too high? The definition of Intelligence is "the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills". Until a guest is able to communicate and have their problems solved by a computer without any directive, I will call it great software. 

Joe Tareen

@Bart Wilson 

What a great question! This is something that I think about a lot everytime I hear any vendor use the term AI in their product description. Using algorithms in a 'decision tree' modality as you said yourself is not AI. Usage of "If this, then that" functions is not AI although it is a part of it. Big aspect of AI is Natural Language Processing also. Towards the end is a snippet regarding the true origin and intent of AI from Wikipedia.

Bottom line if a system is not self-learning along the lines of how our brains process, store, manipulate information then it is not AI. For example our brain doesn't necessarily have to access active memory of the past bad experience to avoid making the same decision again. In other words the brain is a highly efficient organ that is constantly re-organizing itself to produce outputs using less and less resources. The best way to look at an AI driven system versus a "decision tree" system is that with more data payload the "decision tree:" system grows slower, whereas an AI powered system will actually become faster with increased data payload exploiting all data points to make a decision faster and more accurate. Great topic!!!I love it!!


In the early 1950s, there were various names for the field of "thinking machines" such as cybernetics, automata theory, and complex information processing.[4] These indicate how different the ideas were on what such machines would be like.

In 1955 John McCarthy, then a young Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Dartmouth College, decided to organize a group to clarify and develop ideas about thinking machines. He picked the name 'Artificial Intelligence' for the new field. He chose the name partly for its neutrality; avoiding a focus on narrow automata theory, and avoiding cybernetics which was heavily focused on analog feedback, as well as him potentially having to accept the assertive Norbert Wiener as guru or having to argue with him.[5]

In early 1955, McCarthy approached the Rockefeller Foundation to request funding for a summer seminar at Dartmouth for about 10 participants. In June, he and Claude Shannon, a founder of Information Theory then at Bell Labs, met with Robert Morison, Director of Biological and Medical Research to discuss the idea and possible funding, though Morison, was unsure whether money would be made available for such a visionary project.[6]

On September 2, 1955, the project was formally proposed by McCarthy, Marvin MinskyNathaniel Rochester and Claude Shannon. The proposal is credited with introducing the term 'artificial intelligence'.

The Proposal states[7]

“We propose that a 2-month, 10-man study of artificial intelligence be carried out during the summer of 1956 at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. The study is to proceed on the basis of the conjecture that every aspect of learning or any other feature of intelligence can in principle be so precisely described that a machine can be made to simulate it. An attempt will be made to find how to make machines use language, form abstractions and concepts, solve kinds of problems now reserved for humans, and improve themselves. We think that a significant advance can be made in one or more of these problems if a carefully selected group of scientists work on it together for a summer.”

The proposal goes on to discuss computersnatural language processingneural networkstheory of computationabstraction and creativity (these areas within the field of artificial intelligence are considered still relevant to the work of the field). [

Mark Rask

I havent really thought about but you guys are right....this term is thrown around loosely

Make coffee in the morning and answer all my email. 

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