Machine learning has the potential to make a big difference in solving some of humanity's biggest problems -- making renewables more efficient, optimizing our transportation networks, recycling our trash, making medical care more broadly accessible, accelerating science.
Most of it will take the form of 10-50% improvements to existing processes. It won't always be very sexy, but in aggregate, it will be transformational.
It seems to me we aren't investing nearly enough researcher brain power on this type of impactful, "boring" applied problems.
Meanwhile, what is our community focusing on? What are the media & public focusing on?
Misplaced hype. Fantasies about lofty AGI research that is sure to generate unlimited profits. Fantasies of AI apocalypse peddled by those who need you to be afraid.
It's a bit disheartening.
Perhaps billions of $ will be wasted on those who make the craziest claims or shout the loudest -- or those whose tales of the future most accurately match the fantasies of tech billionaires.
If that happens, the lack of ROI will eventually lead to a new AI research winter.
This may slow us down at a critical moment.
Let's counter that.
Let's pay more attention to those who are working on important applied problems. Let's fund them. Let's tell their stories, so others will be inspired to follow them. Let's work on the research & tools they'll need
If you know of any team or individual working under the radar on applying ML to solve an ambitious problem that benefits the public good, please reply and share their work. I'll amplify.
Very curious to see what will show up :)
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