Blake Dowling: It’s not Terminator — AI is coming, there’s nothing to fear

There is no need to be scared.

We are all afraid of artificial intelligence, it seems.

Perhaps we saw “Terminator” movies (John Connor versus evil machine Skynet) one too many times.

We also saw Google’s CEO saying on national television this week that he doesn’t understand why their AI lies sometimes.

That, my friends, might be odd, but not scary.

Artificial intelligence was first introduced to our world in 1952 when a program was developed to play checkers by computer scientist Arthur Samuel. Within 40 years of that landmark event, a chess-playing computer program called Deep Blue (by IBM) not only played chess but beat the reigning world champion, Garry Kasparov.

Applications are vast for AI in 2023 and the rollout of AI in the coming years will surpass the internet-of-things and the smartphone revolution, impacting everything we do.

Some occupations will be disrupted (or eliminated) while others will be enhanced as AI finds its footing.

The Florida Department of Transportation is installing AI cameras on bridges as an additional layer of security for pedestrians and motorists. The goal is for assistive AI to back up the human operator to make sure the sidewalks and roads are cleared before a bridge is raised.

There was a fatality in West Palm late last year when an operator did not see a bicyclist on a bridge. This use of AI to supplement a human worker should stop that from happening again.

In the world of fast food, chains are using voice AI to run some of their drive-thrus, replacing the human worker. McDonald’s reports good progress with their efforts but not quite up to the 95% accuracy they sought.

The company also opened restaurants in Texas, Nevada and Colorado with no human staff, managed entirely by robots and open for business.

While individuals show some fear about AI, other sectors are dipping their toes into the AI pool.

The AI in Agriculture conference is in Orlando this week to discuss applications and utilization of AI for yield projections, livestock management and weed control.

The user adoption of ChatGPT, the newsworthy AI computer program that can have a conversation with you is off the charts.

What can it do? A USA Today reporter asked it to write a book and it did.

How fast is it taking off? TikTok took nine months to get to 100 million users, and Instagram took two years to hit that mark. ChatGPT hit 100 million users in two months. That’s how fast.

Google CEO, Sundar Pichai was on 60 Minutes this week discussing their AI plans. A couple of items stuck out on their AI called Bard.

When Bard was asked to complete an unfinished work by Ernest Hemingway he did so in a very human way. Bard also did in one year what it would take PHDs millions of years (five years per protein) to do. That is to find the 3D structure of 200 million proteins. The coolest part of that effort was that Google and DeepMind (its AI division) made the protein database public as a gift to humanity.

Third on the list would be that Bard makes things up or lies and they don’t know why.

So, nothing scary to me, just interesting (Hemmingway), impressive (proteins) and typical (lying robot).

We are in the middle of a tech revolution. Embrace it; the last few revolutions (social media, smartphones) happened so fast; I don’t know if we ever really knew what was happening.

The revolution will, of course, have bumps in the road. When the AI bot heads to Vegas, casinos are not going to be happy.

Also, when the financial planning bot starts picking stocks it is going to make some waves.

And let’s not forget those pesky self-driving cars weaving into our lanes.

The artificial intelligence landscape is still a blank screen; what is loading on it will come soon, like it or not. There is no need to be scared.

While there may be room for concern, let’s can the fear. However, if you meet someone named John Connor, add him to your contacts, just in case evil thinking machines become a thing.


Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies and can be reached at [email protected]. A special shoutout to my friend Gary Yordon for collaborating with me on this column. Gary is an award-winning writer and guru of many things — from TV to politics.

You can check out his book here: Driving the Road of Life with a Flat Tire.

Blake Dowling

Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies. His technology columns are published by several organizations. Contact him at [email protected] or at


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