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Pseudo AI: Still a Thing, Still a Problem [AI Today Podcast]


What is pseudo AI?

While AI is all about machines that have the intelligence like people, Pseudo AI or “AI washing” is when a company or product claims that AI is being used for a specific task or feature, but in reality, it’s people doing that task. In the startup world, “faking it until you make it”, is a common practice. And, unfortunately, this practice has been making it’s way into AI. In this episode of the AI Today podcast, hosts Kathleen Walch and Ron Schmelzer discuss pseudo AI. We explain what it, why it happens, and why it’s a problem for everyone.

What is an example of AI washing?

Tesla recently got caught up in Pseudo AI when they debuted their Optimus humanoid robot, and observant viewers noticed that there was a human alongside the robot performing the actions using a VR glove or similar device. Cruise confirms robotaxis rely on human assistance every four to five miles. All the way back in 2016, Bloomberg highlighted the plight of humans spending 12 hours a day pretending to be chatbots for calendar scheduling services such as and Clara. In 2017, the business expense management app Expensify admitted that it had been using humans to transcribe at least some of the receipts it claimed to process using its “smartscan technology”. And, this list goes on. In this podcast we provide examples of pseudo AI, also called AI washing. We also explain why Pseudo AI is an issue including how it leads to misleading customers, undermining trust, legal and regulatory issues, and ethical issues.

Show Notes:

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