At South by Southwest Interactive last month, I debated the future of artificial intelligence with my co-panelists.
The roboticist on the panel argued that AI is an intellectually challenging field where the problems are difficult, and therefore can be solved only by highly intelligent people working on obscure mathematics and algorithms. The future, he argued, will look much like the past: a series of incremental, hard-won improvements in very narrow fields.
I’m sure, a decade ago, the folks at Encyclopedia Britannica would have believed the encyclopedia business was going to remain just the same. But the advent of Wikipedia proved that crowd-sourced knowledge curation provided broader, deeper, and more accurate results than the traditional small pool of experts.