The Truth about AI

There really is no formal, universally accepted definition of Artificial Intelligence (AI), but there are a few things that most definitions can agree on.

  1. AI is intelligence of a machine and not that of an organism.
  2. AI systems can learn to adapt their intelligence.
  3. Intelligence here is a spectrum. This means that at one end a fully functioning human is capable of many things but at the other end, a calculator can only do a few tasks. The measure of intelligence is not of kind, but of scale, speed, degree of autonomy, and generality [1].

The flexibility of the AI definition leads many companies to claim they have developed an AI solution. Given that intelligence is actually a spectrum these claims may not necessarily be false, but the real question is where on that spectrum does a solution fall?

Here are a few helpful things to consider when evaluating an “AI” system.

  • Artificial General Intelligence, or the ability for a machine to fully emulate the ability of a human to understand and learn any task, is probably not achievable (at least in the near future).
  • Any solution claiming to utilize AI is not general but falls somewhere between that and a calculator.
  • Generally (but not always), AI systems learn via some machine learning algorithm like neural networks, gradient boosting, random forests, or the like.
  • Deep learning is nothing more than a neural network with many layers.
  • Most AI systems perform a very narrow set of things. Those that are not narrow are easily recognizable, such as a self-driving car.

So… where on that spectrum does a solution fall? Of perhaps greater practical importance than the strict definition of AI is will a given solution deliver the value I expect?

The real problem is that AI is an over-used buzzword. Many can claim to have it in their solutions. Not all that claim to use AI, actually do.

1 Peter Stone, Rodney Brooks, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ryan Calo, Oren Etzioni, Greg Hager, Julia Hirschberg, Shivaram Kalyanakrishnan, Ece Kamar, Sarit Kraus, Kevin Leyton-Brown, David Parkes, William Press, AnnaLee Saxenian, Julie
Shah, Milind Tambe, and Astro Teller. Artificial Intelligence and Life in 2030. One Hundred Year Study on Artificial Intelligence: Report of the 2015-2016 Study Panel, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, September 2016.

Accessed: September 6, 2016.

Intelligence is a Spectrum

Where a solution falls on that spectrum, and verifying the system uses feedback to learn over time are important aspects of whether a
so-called AI solution will deliver any meaningful benefit to the user. This is the truth about AI.


Life2, Inc.
1170 Amber Park Drive
Suite 160
Alpharetta GA 30009






What Are The Outcomes You Want Solved?

Life2 can optimize any clinical, operational or financial outcome. Tell us what matters to you? We will be in touch to talk about how Life2 and Claustrum AI can help your organization.

Scroll to Top