Is AI Worth The Hype?

Is AI worth the hype - Photo by JJ Ying on Unsplash

These days it seems AI is everywhere. On a recent trip to the Bay Area, every billboard seemed to be advertising some version of AI. One of my clients has instructed most every department in the company to start using AI wherever they can. Is AI worth all the hype? I was a skeptic and like most new transformative things the real value will emerge over time. That said, I have found some extremely valuable uses already.

The Gartner Hype Cycle

Before I get on to how it is helping me, I’m going to talk about the Gartner Hype Cycle. This concept has accurately depicted the rise, fall and establishment of many new technologies. It starts with a wave of enthusiasm that this new technology will be a game changer and you better get on board now. After a while this gives way to a slump they call the ‘Trough of Disillusionment’, where all the hype isn’t fulfilled. After the bubble bursts, the real value of the new technology is established and it finds its place. Often nowhere near as valuable as was thought but still much more valuable than doing nothing.

I believe the same will be true for AI. It won’t completely change my life, but it will change it in ways I can comprehend right now that will be for the better. So far, I’ve found a few ways it has become a valuable assistant and I can see it becoming more and more valuable in this space. Here are a couple of examples.

Summarizing Notes

A part of my executive coaching role involves gathering feedback for clients via interviews with their peers. Summarizing my notes from various interviews into a single summary is tedious and something I don’t look forward to. By adding my notes into ChatGPT (with no personal identifiers), I can ask it to create a summary. It does a pretty good job, providing a really helpful starting point for me to edit. The most helpful thing is it removes my own bias that I bring about my client. This unbiased version helps me challenge my own thinking to create a better, more representative summary.

Creating Marketing Headlines

Marketing is not one of my talents. I enjoy writing this blog each week and then I need to create a series of tag lines for social media. ChatGPT does a much better job of generating these than I can. At least, it provides me with a variety of possibilities that I can choose or build from.

Both of the above examples are activities I either didn’t find valuable and/or didn’t enjoy. With the help of AI, both are much easier and the results are better, at least I think so. How are you using AI? Is it all hype or are you finding valuable uses?

Comments (2)

Andy, thanks again for the insight. I lived through the rough AI “winter” over 30 years ago and ran one of Boeing’s AI centers. Then too, the hype far outpaced the real rewards — except in a few key areas, and those breakthroughs eventually, slowly, laid the foundation and led us to the current cycle.
Yes, there are TRUE uses for the generative AI hyped so much today, AND there are also very real scientific breakthroughs in genetics, machine vision, self driving cars, object recognition (like being able to pick out areas of interest in large microscopy images), and speech. These are things we were attempting (with a few successes) 30 years ago. Today is sooooo much better.
Personally, I’m using it to summarize research in particular area and on pure entertainment area to generate art. It does an amazing job with a good description of creating birthday cards 🙂

Hi Randy, Thank you for providing a longer term view of AI. It is fascinating that it hasn’t just happened, we are well into the cycle of innovation and adoption. I haven’t tried it in the realm of art and I should. I’m skeptical but hey, it is time to challenge my perceptions again. 🙂

Leave a comment