back to article Not now, Gartner. We've had enough of the future to last a lifetime: Meet 'Formative AI' and 'Algorithmic Trust'

For a year that belongs in a Philip K Dick novella, now is not the time to welcome prophets of the technological future, and yet here comes Gartner, banging on the door with its Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle. According to the gurus of the Cycle, freshly emerged tech must first climb the "Peak of Inflated Expectations" …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Digital Me

    Another damned excuse to slurp all my data without my consent.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Digital Me

      Strange that because I just asked the Digital You and he was perfectly happy with the idea. One of you must be lying…

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Digital Me

        I think my Digital Me has turned evil, and is attempting to assume my identity and place in society by having Physical Me eliminated. That would explain the $40K charge on my credit card that I supposedly OK'd to a reputed Argentinian hitman.

        (Eh, at least the quality of my El Reg forum posts should improve.)

  2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    " a flurry of technologies as yet unproven outside the lab"

    Only outside?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Has anyone ever proven ...

      that water is wet and the sky is blue outside the lab?

      Doesn't the act of proof imply a lab, of one description or another?

  3. Charlie Clark Silver badge


    Surely, this has proved one of the most useful approaches for testing and finding the limits of machine learning by pitting it against itself. Obviously this points towards a singularity — no, not that one — where all computer resources in the world will be being used either to test for forgeries or to create them!

  4. Stumpy

    What's the phrase? "If you throw enough sh*t at the wall, some of it is bound to stick!"

    1. RM Myers

      "If you throw enough sh*t at the wall, some of it is bound to stick stink!" FTFY

      1. jake Silver badge

        And most of it slides down and winds up rotting on the floor.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    On the plus side ...

    ... Explainable AI is just now getting started on its way down the Trough of Disillusionment. Which seems a bit late.

  6. a_yank_lurker

    I wonder

    Has anyone gone back a few years to see how of the BS ideas these idiots were touting as next 'greatest and best' thing that went do in flames? Also, how many are perennially in the BS phase?

    1. slimshady76

      Re: I wonder

      Indeed. What do this "company" do for a living? How does it pays its employees? and more important, how did they do to survive this long relying solely on such a pile of BS?

      1. RM Myers

        Re: I wonder

        From experience living in a farming community, I can tell you that real BS (produced by male bovines) smells, whereas Gartner's sells (to management without a clue). Companies pay big bucks to Gartner for their "advice". These reports are just advertising for Gartner, the real money is in the consulting contracts they sell to the CIO's and other enterprise management afraid to miss "the next big thing".

  7. IGotOut Silver badge

    Why does Gartner just admit...

    ...they are a paid-for-advertising company and have done with it.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Other noted features on the Gartner Hype Cycle not mentioned in this article include...

    -The Bog of Bullshit

    -The Hill of Horseshit

    -The Mesa of Mendacity

    -The Peak of Propaganda

    -The Dell of Deceit

    -The Woods of Woe

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Other noted features on the Gartner Hype Cycle not mentioned in this article include...

      The Glade of (pick one):

      — glorification

      — glitter

      — glamorization

      — glossiness

      — glitches

      — glitz

      — glop

      — glaring

  9. NetBlackOps

    What they're calling Formative AI matches an epidemiological forecasting model I did back in 1998, especially the autonomous aspect although mine was non-linear. Be interesting to see what the boffins come up with now.

  10. Anonymous Coward


    Why do I get the feeling (ever quarter) that Gartner releases their hype cycle just to create clickbait articles to keep Gartner's name it the news?

  11. trevorde Silver badge

    New phase on Hype Cycle

    "Tomb of Regret"

    just after "Peak of Inflated Expectations", it is where technologies go to die before being resurrected several years later to reappear on "Innovation Trigger" eg virtual/augmented reality

  12. Luke Worm

    Algorithmic Thrust, maybe. But the trust is lost, everybody now sees "algorithm" as a bad thing, a dirty word.

    1. jake Silver badge

      "Algorithmic Thrust"

      That was Martin Gardner's jazz/blues band, right?

  13. hoola Silver badge


    The amazing thing is that boardroom suits lap this stuff up, paying huge amounts for Gartner subscriptions.

    Gartner starts to push the latest fad from some company that they have some vested interest in (they are paying money for "reviews") and the next thing you know everyone is wetting themselves over some piece of shite that all the techies can see is shite or vapourware but manglement are convinced it will solve all their problems.

    And all because the man from Gartner says "yes"!

    Gartner are not alone, others that spring to mind, IDC, Forrester, 451 Group.

    There appears to be no escape from this sort of lunacy as more of these consultancy groups sell their services to C-Suite idiots.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Spin

      On the bright side, there is good money to be made picking up the pieces when it all comes crashing down. The fun part is that, as a consultant, your job is to tell management that they have fucked up yet again, and cost their company $megabucks through their own ineptitude. The second (third, fourth, ... ) time around you can even say "I told you so!" if you play your cards right.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whatever happened to

    3d printing your own blockchain of smartdust?

    I haven't seen much from Gartner lately, but that kind of thing was popular with them last time I looked.

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