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Size does matter! (for AI)

There was a contest where a man used a scythe to cut the grass from a parcel faster than a person using a lawnmower. Here is the video.

I was watching that, and something felt wrong about the whole setup. And then it hit me! No, it was not the fact that there is nothing scientific about the video :). 

The problem is that the parcel had a carefully selected size so that the man with the scythe does not get tired. What if the test parcel was ten times larger? 

Even if a machine is one hundred times slower than you, it will beat your performance on a long enough time horizon.

Why? Because it does not get bored, it does not get tired, and it does not sleep. In three words:

It doesn’t stop!

This idea applies best to Artificial Intelligence. You can argue that AI is still not smart enough or fast enough to make connections, but the progress never stops!

There was a time when you could say:

“I have read all the books on this planet!” or

“I have watched all the movies ever produced!”

Not anymore.

No human mind can ever go through all the data we have produced (and continue to produce). But for a computer algorithm, it is not a problem! 

Imagine the connections you could make or the insights you would have if you could read all the books that exist today.

An AI can already consume way more that than we can imagine. And the ability to also comprehend the data is increasing with time at an accelerated pace. 

In a few short years, I believe that AI will be objectively “smarter” than us in measurable ways. 

Will it also be sentient? That’s is a story for another time.

The power of Everyday

The power of “Every Day.”

What if I told you that if you want to get rich, all you have to do is to put a pebble in a jar every day for 100 days? The rules are:

  • You cannot skip a day.
  • If you do, you need to start over.
  • You also cannot put pebbles in that jar ahead of time.

Do you think this is stupid? Do you think this will work? Are you willing to put it to the test? 

I hope you do, as you will learn a crucial lesson. 

It is effortless to do something once or twice: get on a healthy diet, exercise, develop that marketing skill that you need. But as soon as you commit to doing it every day for 100 days, all sorts of problems come up. 

“What if I forget? What if I have to fly? What if I am too tired? Too sick? In a hospital? What if I change my mind and this is no longer important?”

All of a sudden, “every day for 100 days” seems nearly impossible. 

And yet, some people have done it. And not only for 100 days but for years in a row. 

There is a considerable power inconsistency. In always showing up, even when you don’t feel like it, especially if you don’t feel like it! 

What you may also discover is that you will not have a lot of competition, as most will give up after ten days or so, and you will have many people looking up to you because, at some level, they understand that showing up 100 days in a row is very difficult. So there is a certain kind of power around the people who do it. 

I challenge you to give this a try and report back with the results. Personally, I am yet to have a 100 days streak of doing anything consistently. But don’t make this your excuse.