Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Stanford CSP, BUS 152 - Innovation Timing. Session 3, Quiz 1

Background: Over the last decade, AI-based technologies succeeded in solving various problems that before were considered impossible to solve using computational methods. In one recent example, Stanford researchers "have trained an algorithm to diagnose skin cancer." In another example, AI bot easily outplayed humans in poker.

The significance of the latter development is that the algorithm successfully handled a problem with imperfect information:
Poker requires reasoning and intelligence that has proven difficult for machines to imitate. It is fundamentally different from checkers, chess, or Go, because an opponent’s hand remains hidden from view during play. In games of “imperfect information,” it is enormously complicated to figure out the ideal strategy given every possible approach your opponent may be taking.

Given that innovation fundamentally involves decision-making with imperfect information, we may want to consider how AI will impact broader innovation processes in our society.

1. Assume that AI decision-making services are widely available. In your opinion, which segments of the society will start using such services first: consumer or enterprise? Explain your reasoning and give approximate calendar time estimates for each segment.

2. Consider Kahneman's System 1 vs System 2 approach to human decision-making (e.g. as discussed during our Session 2). Will a wide adoption of AI services improve or worsen people's ability to use "System 2 thinking"? Explain.

3. In your opinion, will AI-based decision-making services affect the overall timing of innovation diffusion in social systems (see Session 1 lecture notes), e.g. by making S-curves more gradual, more steep, or leave them unchanged? Explain.

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