It’s not about what it can do, but the effects of its prioritization

As buzzwords become ubiquitous they become easier to tune out.

We’ve finely honed this defense mechanism, for good purpose. It’s better to focus on what’s in front of us than the flavor of the week. CRISPR might change our lives, but knowing how it works doesn’t help you. VR could eat all media, but it’s hardware requirements keep it many years away from common use.

But please: do not ignore machine learning.

Yes, machine learning will help us build wonderful applications. But that isn’t why I think you should pay attention to it.

You should pay attention to machine learning because it has been prioritized by the companies which drive the technology industry, namely Google, Facebook, and Amazon. The nature of machine learning — how it works, what makes it good, and how it’s delivered — ensures that this strategic prioritization will significantly change the tech industry before even a fraction of machine learning’s value is unleashed.

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