Gartner Blog Network

Tom Austin
VP & Gartner Fellow
20 years at Gartner
41 years IT industry

Tom Austin, VP, has been a Gartner Fellow since 1997. He drives Gartner's research content incubator (the Maverick Program) and is leading a new research community creating research on the emerging era of smart machines. Read Full Bio

Where have all the AI flowers gone?

by Tom Austin  |  June 29, 2018

Have you put a real killer application that exploits AI into volume production use? I didn’t think so. As of last year, only 4 (that’s FOUR) percent of 3,182 CIOs world-wide report they’ve put an AI-related application into production (or planned to do so within the next 12 months.) CIOs don’t always know everything going […]

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Where are AI Myths Distorting Your Thinking or the Thinking of Others?

by Tom Austin  |  July 18, 2017

In the recent research note Hype Hurts: Steering Clear of Dangerous AI Myths we explain why every one of the following Myths are wrong: Myth 1: Buy an AI to Solve Your Problems Myth 2: Everyone Needs an AI Strategy or a Chief AI Officer Myth 3: Artificial Intelligence Is Real Myth 4: AI Technologies Define […]

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FLASHBACK: Is All This Hype Really Necessary?

by Tom Austin  |  March 13, 2017

At Gartner, we have started working on our 2017 Hype Cycle work in anticipation of publishing results early in the third quarter. Recently, I found research we published in 10 June 1994 on the subject of Hype, well before we started to create “hype cycles.” While brief, we recommend this research as you contemplate the […]

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People aren’t rational. Get used to it (or not, depending on your own confirmation bias.)

by Tom Austin  |  March 12, 2017

Cool article, well written  A rational discussion of how irrational people really are — in many cases, on all sides of the political divides. Which is one reason why I say we don’t want “AI” to emulate how people think (but don’t worry, there’s no chance that AI becomes either intelligent or rational — that’s […]

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There is No Intelligence in AI

by Tom Austin  |  March 11, 2017

AI is Amazing Innovations. Amazing Innovations that do what we thought technology couldn’t do. After a while they are no longer “amazing.” We become blaze as amazingness just becomes part of the background. It is another “AI,” Aging Innovation. It’s taken for granted, no longer enthused about. AI (amazing innovations) cease to be amazing and are replaced by new, […]

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A toast to mavericks, whomever you are

by Tom Austin  |  October 14, 2016

A toast to mavericks, down with specialization myopia and up with cultivating a breadth of abilities Interesting piece A 1951 look at (and contemporary commentary on) what people can do better than machines. One of the core conclusions then? Humans are flexible. They contain “general purpose intelligence.” I was struck by a cited Heinlein […]

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Don’t blame the technology — we have a Labor-Social-People-Government-Business problem

by Tom Austin  |  February 16, 2016

The authors of this piece in the UK Guardian on AI and unemployment may be overly optimistic or not on the progress of AI and it may be 100 years rather than 50 (or 10 instead of 50) but this isn’t about technology. It’s something very different.   Consider this one quote:   “…technology has […]

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Here we go again! More bad assumptions fueling new movies, fears…

by Tom Austin  |  January 29, 2015

In a recent article, the BBC has repeated fear stories like this: “The Spectrum computer’s inventor Sir Clive Sinclair … [says] he believes it is unavoidable that artificial intelligences will wipe out mankind. Once you start to make machines that are rivalling and surpassing humans with intelligence, it’s going to be very difficult for us to […]

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Kudos to Eric Horvitz, managing director of Microsoft Research Lab and lead AI researcher

by Tom Austin  |  January 28, 2015

I want to be clear. I try not to endorse vendors or vendor products in this blog. This post will be no exception. Levi Sumagaysay posted a quote from Eric Horvitz (Microsoft MSR AI lead)  in her silicon beat blog“ “There have been concerns about the long-term prospect that we lose control of certain kinds […]

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Kudos to Andrew Ng (Stanford, Google, Baidu)

by Tom Austin  |  January 23, 2015

Andrew is chief scientist at Baidu research labs in California; CS faculty at Sanford and former direct of AI research at Google. In a recent interview with the Wall St Journal, he said: WSJ: Who’s at the forefront of deep learning? Ng: There are a lot of deep-learning startups. Unfortunately, deep learning is so hot today […]

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