back to article Payoff from AI projects is 'dismal', biz leaders complain

Businesses have become more cautious about investing in artificial intelligence tools due to concerns about cost, data security, and safety, according to a study conducted by Lucidworks, a provider of e-commerce search and customer service applications. "The honeymoon phase of generative AI is over," the company said in its …

  1. b0llchit Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Dream a little dream

    I'm wondering, who has been hallucinating more?

    1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: Dream a little dream

      Who's hallucinating whom? As it were.

      GJC

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Meh

    Over 2500 participants

    I had to download the report to get this little tidbit, since the author of the article did not judge it sufficiently important to include in his report.

    I'm sorry, but when I'm spoon-fed a bunch of statistics and percentages and absolutely no basis in numbers whatsoever, I get cranky.

    So, for those of us who like to know what a survey is based on, I got the figures : over 2500 participants.

    Now you know.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Over 2500 participants

      Thanks for the clarify I was unsure initially if you meant the report on AI or the AI Hype Machine itself.

    2. Like a badger

      Re: Over 2500 participants

      The remarkable thing is that they all agree the payoff is dismal, and then a worrying number state they'll be throwing the same or even more money at "AI" next year, apparently driven by nothing more than executive FOMO.

      I suppose AI is simply a bigger fad wave then blockchain, crypto, IoT, smart cities/grids/charging etc, where billions have been similarly been thrown away chasing illusory benefits touted by management consultancies who know how gullible their customers are. Doesn't look to me like smart glasses, 3D vision, mixed reality or "metaverses" ever managed to or will launch themselves into the executive fad-o-matic, so I wonder what the GPU makers think will save their bacon when the AI wave breaks?

      1. Quando

        Re: Over 2500 participants

        Climb up the stack of turtles - software projects have been offering poor returns on spending for decades.

    3. JoeCool Silver badge

      Re: Over 2500 participants

      that's nice to know, but the story does report more important numbers about the survey population:

      "The respondents, it's claimed, were drawn from 1,000 companies with 100 or more employees across 14 industries ..."

  3. Ace2 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    “There are also many more worries (5x more) about the accuracy of responses provided by AI systems.”

    Have a seat while we explain this to you again…

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      We should make sure they have crayons this time.

      1. LybsterRoy Silver badge

        Nah - POWERPOINT!

        1. Oliver Mayes

          You have to call it a "Slidedeck" these days or the MBAs throw you down a stairwell.

          1. Plest Silver badge

            I'm glad I'm not the only one who spotted that, when did a "presentation" become a "slidedeck"?! What a load of horse-doings!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              > I'm glad I'm not the only one who spotted that, when did a "presentation" become a "slidedeck"?! What a load of horse-doings!

              Dunno but probably quite a lot longer than you think. The consultancy I joined in 2000 were making a conscious effort to *stop* calling them slidedecks even then (for reasons I forget - probably because the more cowboy consultancies were over-using the term and they didn't want to be tainted)

              1. Richard 12 Silver badge

                Presentation implies the act of actually presenting the work.

                Slidedeck is simply reading the slides, meaning it would be better to hand out the slides and go to the pub.

            2. Derezed
              Windows

              "I'm glad I'm not the only one who spotted that, when did a "presentation" become a "slidedeck"?! What a load of horse-doings!"

              Maybe when presenting turned into someone reading a set of Microsoft PowerPoint slides to an audience (otherwise known as a slidedeck). This particular jargon doesn't bother me. It's like complaining about when did someone starting saying "I took the train" instead of "I travelled" (when people starting travelling by train).

              Don't give a toss what they're called just the bollocks contained within them. I remember sitting in a room of 15 or so management consultancies at a large London borough and all they could talk about was how they didn't "just" want to do a powerpoint presentation. I had no idea what they were talking about...if you need to present an idea using pictures and words what else are you going to use? An overhead projector? Obsession with the means of communication as opposed to the content is the issue.

              1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
                Unhappy

                hate them

                One thing that really pisses me off is having to sit through one of these where the presenter monkey simply reads off what on the screen.

              2. Stevie

                Bah!

                In the early days of Office, PowerPoint saved my company a contract.

                I was in a quandary about how to re-explain a concept involving the switch from a DMS-style set-based database to a relational model for something the set-based model did extremely well. (Clever use of manual sets, if you care). I'd covered the subject already but the customer was understandably skittish and my words were inadequate to the task.

                On my plane journey to the client I wondered if this "PowerPoint" thing, which I'd never so much as seen before, could help.

                Yes it could.

                I quickly put together a set of pictures to help me convey what my explanations had so far been unable to do. Same talk - with pictures.

                Sat with small group of client's staff, in a cube, using my lappy and a (wired) mouse as a clicker.

                Intelligent and probing questions were asked about the approach being described as each slide was shown and explained, and I was able to answer them. A marked contrast to the silence that greeted my previous attempt.

                Job done, on a plane with a Windows 95 laptop with a battery life measured in hurryhurryhurry units.

                So I quite like PowerPoint and it's free office clones. Don't use it much, but it does what it says on the side of the tin, which is unusual for anything computer-y.

            3. Falmari Silver badge

              @Plest "when did a "presentation" become a "slidedeck"?!"

              Probably not too long after someone found that slide projectors could do more than just bore friends and family with holiday pics and turned their presentation or talk into a slide show. ;)

            4. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

              To be fair, there are many sorts of presentations which do not involve slides, and a good presentation with slides involves far more than the slides.

              And since I often here presentations referred to as "a PowerPoint", frankly, I'll take "slidedeck". Though IME the cool kids just say "deck" now.

              1. Ken G Silver badge

                Let's see what this deck is talking about

                Pronounced in a New Zealand accent?

            5. Nostradamus2

              Slidedeck vs presentation

              PowerPoint presentations in specific and graphic presentation tools in general, have referred to "slidedecks" for at least 25 years as apps/files replaced actual 35mm film "slides". The term "slide" was created around 1935 (probably by Kodak around the time Kodachrome was introduced) for the ability to slide the cardboard or glass-mounted film in and out of projectors. FYI - like most things connected with technology, there are also lots of other anachronistic and idiosyncratic words for various presentation media that have changed through the years as technology changed. One example - overhead projectors. The content was originally created with thin metal sheets - so early users referred to the sheets as "foils". When they were replaced with acetate sheets, some companies (notably IBM) referred to them as "slinkys" or in groups, slinky decks.

          2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            I actually have a slide deck...well, not so much a "deck" as a "carousel"...one of those for the Kodak slide projector. Grabbed it when it was being tossed at my first company. I haven't looked all the way through it, I wanted the carousel more than the slides, but now, the slides would be a great trip down memory lane (it's from the early 90s -- some kind of customer presentation).

      2. TheWeetabix Bronze badge

        We did. That’s why no one touched the snack table.

  4. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Actually the most inappropriate applications

    "the most successful generative AI initiatives [...] include projects for generating FAQs and providing HR support."

    FAQs are supposed to be questions raised by real people and HR is supposed to interact with real people at an individual level (yes, I know I'm being optimistic), so handing either of these over to a dumb machine seems to be the worst possible choice.

    1. herman Silver badge

      Re: Actually the most inappropriate applications

      Being handed off to a dumb Hell Desk or HR human can be worse.

      1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

        Re: Actually the most inappropriate applications

        You do realise that AI is simply an aggregation of all the dumb crap it could find, and whats worse it might not even make sense ?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Actually the most inappropriate applications

          Sounds spot on for a HR bot in that case, silicon or meat bag based.

          1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

            Re: Actually the most inappropriate applications

            Unfortuntely todays society seems to reward and grow the parasite divisions such as management and hr more than actually rewwarding real workers who actually contribute real solutions.

    2. abend0c4 Silver badge

      Re: Actually the most inappropriate applications

      Customer service staff are supposed to interact with real - and paying - people, but companies were happy to replace them with useless chatbots. If success is measured by reducing the number of interactions, driving people away in frustration is a positive result. However a certain amount of 'investment' is required so you don't appear too cynical in your reduction of service - but probably ot nearly as much as AI demands.

      1. hedgie Bronze badge

        Re: Actually the most inappropriate applications

        Then again, the half of the local ISP duopoly I'm currently stuck with has "support" so shoddy that a ChatGPT instance would almost certainly be an improvement. Even their own customer fora have numerous posts saying that the only way to avoid the blind following of a script is to talk to the cancellations department. I try to avoid dealing with them whenever possible, but sometimes calls are necessary. With gems like these, how could a bot be worse?

        1) Agent refusing to proceed until I have replaced the ethernet cable from the tower to the router when pings to the router are fine, and traceroutes proceed to the first hop outside the LAN and then die.

        2) Agent telling me to go into a Windows-specific panel, and telling me to get a Windows machine when I informed them that I run Linux and have no Windoze boxen.

        3) Agent wanting to factory reset the router for an email (not mine, I use a real provider, but unfortunately, do not live alone) configuration/authentication issue.

        I'm showing my age, but I got spoilt dealing with real ISPs and dealing with people who would actually listen to the described problem, along with the results of any diagnostics I had already run and steps already taken (although verifying them when necessary, can't really trust someone calling in).

        1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

          Re: Actually the most inappropriate applications

          Is Andrews and Arnold an option?

          1. hedgie Bronze badge

            Re: Actually the most inappropriate applications

            Since I'm unfamiliar with Andrews and Arnold, I have to assume "no".

            1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
              Pirate

              Re: A&A

              An excellent ISP, run by proper techies. Well worth a look.

              https://www.aa.net.uk/

              GJC

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: A&A

                There's a range of decent smaller ISPs in addition to A&A, but the scenario described by the OP sounds exactly like the average encounter with Virgin Media. Whilst unstated, there's an implication that Openreach are only offering FTTC, and if the OP wants faster speeds then VM have a monopoly until either Openreach offer FTTP, or an altnet comes along.

                If 30-80 Mbps isn't acceptable to the OP, then the excellence of A&A or other small customer focused providers isn't that much help. I stayed with VM for precisely this reason for 20+ years, but as soon as FTTP was on offer I switched provider (including splitting my landline to a separate VOIP contract rather than bundled with broadband).

                For the OP's benefit, in addition to A&A (also known as AAIPS), other decent smaller providers are companies such as Aquiss, uno, IDnet (no relation to Curry's IDmobile), and a few others, all offer much better customer service, and tend to be better at getting the best out of Openreach than the big ISPs if there are problems. Often they'll provide 12 month minimum terms, and no in-contract price rises which can be attractive compared to the heavily discounted deals from the majors that often then have two year terms and big in-contract price rises. However, the smaller players will be more expensive than the customer acquisition prices for new customers from EE, VM etc.

                For people who don't want to pay a few quid extra for better service, and who enjoy switching provider every 18 months to two years (or haggling with customer retention staff) then the big companies can offer the cheapest option. If you want a provider that will listen and sort problems well, won't hike your price in-contract, or at the end of the fixed term, and you are prepared to pay a few quid extra then the smaller players are where you should look.

                1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

                  Re: A&A

                  Another upvote for A&A

                  Around our area there is also Fibrecast Ltd who are very good and only a couple of quid more than the hopeless big players.

              2. hedgie Bronze badge

                Re: A&A

                Sadly, I'm stuck left-pond. I was with Speakeasy while I was still on dialup, and before they got bought out, then a local ISP for broadband until I had to move somewhere where I'm currently stuck with AT&T. Hopefully, this summer I'll be able to move to Comcrap, which is, sadly, and improvement, at least in terms of support. No fibre options where I am, which I find rather amusing, since the affluent place with the University has maybe 1/8 of its area with fibre available and the "poor" town next door has it everywhere for reasonable prices comparatively.

                When I was in Edinburgh (sadly, couldn't get the right visa to stay), I was with Demon, but IIRC they either shut down or got bought out and enshittified.

                1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
                  Unhappy

                  Re: A&A

                  Also a USAian, and lucky to have fiber from Verizon FIOS. But...$45 for 300/300? Sadly, the entrenched coax industry is doing their best to prevent fiber from becoming the standard.

                  I can only dream of gigabit (or better) equal access public fiber infrastructure.

                  1. hedgie Bronze badge

                    Re: A&A

                    Even worse. They're all trying to move people to wireless and neglecting existing networks in addition to failing to build new ones. 5G may be great for a phone or tablet on the go (or tethering when necessary) but should never be used for something at a fixed location if there are any other real options. I don't even like having my desktop machine connected to the LAN through WiFi, but the location of the router (and not owning the place so I can't just run a cable and drop it down through the ceiling[1]) for wired. Wireless anything is such a major PITA to troubleshoot, and that's not even getting into the security issues.

                    So yes, I have the "joy" of no higher-speed options in terms of wired service, on a network that they're trying to dump anyway, and the only alternative, Comcrap charges extortionate overage rates on anything over 1 TB monthly.

                    [1] Not the prettiest option, but would be the least effort and distance by a long shot

                2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

                  Re: A&A

                  I too was with Demon back in the day and they were good to deal with. Then changed to Blueyonder who put in cable so I had several times the ADSL speed, before it was ultimately borged to become VM. To be fair to VM in terms of infrastructure the cable in my area was fast and reliable, but in latter years the service plummeted and costs rose. Quell surprise!

        2. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
          Pirate

          Re: Actually the most inappropriate applications

          I used to run an ISP, back in the days when 80% of the customers were technical, and the 20% who weren't were happy to profess their ignorance and use support time as a learning experience.

          It was utter bliss, and I like to think we gave good service as a result.

          GJC

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Actually the most inappropriate applications

            Ran as ISP but still signed off at the end of every comment made. Do you think you are writing memo or something?

            1. spacecadet66 Bronze badge

              Re: Actually the most inappropriate applications

              Maybe he just likes the way it looks.

              Best, SC66.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Do you think you are writing memo or something?

              Do you think you are saying something business sensitive?

              No?

              Don't post AC just to snark at people. Show your handle or shut up.

              1. Outcast!!!

                Re: Do you think you are writing memo or something?

                Ironic of you, dimwit.

            3. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
              Pirate

              Re: Actually the most inappropriate applications

              I won't take any lectures on writing style from someone too frit to put their name on their messages. I've been signing off online messages for four decades now, I'm not stopping just because some prick on the Internet doesn't like it.

              GJC

        3. sketharaman

          Re: Actually the most inappropriate applications

          Well said. Whether it's telcos or banks or insurers, call centers have been staffed by human CSRs with room temperature IQ for 10+ years. Even seven years ago, I felt that the then dumb chatbots were better than humans for 70% of customer service issues. https://gtm360.com/blog/2017/05/26/can-chatbots-replace-humans/. If anything, that percentage can only go up after ChatGPT / GenAI have entered the scene.

          1. hedgie Bronze badge

            Re: Actually the most inappropriate applications

            And TBH, a sophisticated enough bot *could* handle most requests. A sensible business could spend what they're currently spending on dumb minions on a smaller group of competent techs (and paying them well enough) to deal with what a bot couldn't handle. And skilled people aren't a money-sink, they're valuable to a business and, absent a monopoly, as is the case with much of the US ISP "market", essential in getting people to keep forking over cash. I'm still buying (or paying for services) from those companies that give solid support.

            The main reason I still deal with Verizon for mobile, despite them being utter bastards I hate is reliable service and clueful support staff in my dealings. Granted, the last time I called them, the tier 1 tech couldn't do anything, but she quickly realised that the issue was beyond what tools she had available and I got escalated in about five minutes. Tier 2 tech fixed the problem immediately. And yes, the first tech I spoke to didn't have access to the systems to resolve what was ultimately an account issue. Thankfully, it has been years since I've had to call Apple about anything, but I've had nothing but good experiences with their support.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Actually the most inappropriate applications

              Apple once insisted on me paying for a replacement hard drive, which slowed to 1% of previous speed, without any errors, immediately following a major OS update. "Sometimes OS updates reveal previously-unknown hardware failures" the phone folks said. "genius" bar tech ran a diagnostic which came back with the single word FAILED. Neither knew what an actual hard drive failure looked like.

              Both their phone and "genius" bar techs are clueless.

              1. hedgie Bronze badge

                Re: Actually the most inappropriate applications

                Perhaps I've been lucky with Apple support, with a quick chat solving my last software issue, and my one hardware disaster being largely self-inflicted.[1] PSU decided to go beyond blue smoke and I had to call the fire department just to make sure there wasn't anything still secretly burning in the chair cushion. Then I made the idiotic decision to take out my aggression on the offending part, only finding out the next morning that Apple wanted the original part back or was going to charge 5x the price on the replacement, and still didn't want to deal with me directly.

                Oops.

                I was fortunate enough to find a repair shop in Berkeley that was quite willing to lie on my behalf, saying that they'd have a certified tech install a new part and got me one for a far more reasonable price with a small markup for their efforts. But yeah, what you said seems to track regarding Apple. Trivial/easy support is fine, but if the rare "thing goes horribly wrong" incident happens to you, it's going to be an ordeal.

                [1] I've lost a SCSI controller on a mac too, but it was a 3rd-party card.

        4. flokie

          Re: Actually the most inappropriate applications

          I had Sky broadband for a while, their support was very good during business hours, but when the modem decided to drop dead one evening, I found myself speaking with a script monkey on other shores.

          There were a painful few minutes and my temper rose until I resorted to something like "If you can't follow what I'm explaining, could I please speak with someone technical?" but that did the trick, and he agreed to ship a replacement without asking further questions.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Actually the most inappropriate applications

          Mine was agent insisting on me rebooting my computer, after I told him the DSL and Internet lights on the external modem were off.

          On the other hand, once had an agent answer with "Hi, I'm <name>, and you're calling about the noise on the line, aren't you?"

    3. Filippo Silver badge

      Re: Actually the most inappropriate applications

      In fairness, even well before AI, most FAQs I found already were obviously written by a single person, whose task was to reformat the user manual in the form of questions and answer. At no point of this process is anyone actually asking any question without knowing the answer.

      I honestly believe lots of people don't even know what the acronym means - or, if they do, never give a second's thought to what it actually, really means.

    4. Ian Johnston Silver badge

      Re: Actually the most inappropriate applications

      Nothing could be stupider than HR department staff. In most cases replacing them with a small bowl of porridge would improve things, so it's hard to see how AI could make it worse.

      1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
        Pirate

        Re: HR Dept

        No, that's unfair. I have known many intelligent, hard-working HR people (actually, more than most, as I used to write and support a personnel system, many decades ago), but what you have to realise is that your objectives are not their objectives. Once this is established, things normally go well enough.

        GJC

        1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

          Re: HR Dept

          The problem is that HR spends a good bit of their time, telling you they *are* interested in you and your job satisfaction. The part they leave out is "...only as far as it affects your productivity and our bottom line"

          1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge

            Re: HR Dept

            That is certainly true.

            GJC

      2. Efer Brick

        Re: Actually the most inappropriate applications

        Squirrels or a block of cheese, I often thought would be an improvement.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Actually the most inappropriate applications

        Our benefits department is only reachable by email. They respond within a couple days... usually. Had one major incident, likely impacting several thousand employees, where the first response from Benefits was "should be fixed now" - two weeks after I verified it was fixed and a month and a half after I reported the issue. Not so much as a broadcast "you might see this issue, we're working on it" in the meantime.

      4. SuperGeek

        Re: Actually the most inappropriate applications

        A bowl of porridge? I thought you were going to say a bowl of goldfish. At least they remember stuff for a second or two ;) And they're nice to look at!

    5. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: Actually the most inappropriate applications

      FAQs are supposed to be questions raised by real people

      Indeed. And should already be covered long-form by existing documentation. In the role of generating FAQs I don't see 'AI' as doing much more than scanning a document and producing an index. If it can figure out the questions people will ask, and what the answers are, as a short-form version of the docs; that's fine by me, saves me or someone else from doing that.

      If it can flag up questions which are reasonable to ask which it can't find an answer to that's a win as well; that should probably have made it into the full documentation.

      It doesn't surprise me that 'AI' does better at particular specific tasks. It's where I believe 'AI' will ultimately succeed. Unless it keeps hallucinating, insists on making up shit.

      1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
        Pirate

        Re: Actually the most inappropriate applications

        I'm an incurable optimist, but it would be great to have an AI set up to scan the whole support call database, and compile an FAQ based on that.

        What a wonderful world that would be. It ain't going to happen, though.

        GJC

        1. UnknownUnknown

          Re: Actually the most inappropriate applications

          One that scanned the chat including your details and what you wrote down is the problem is that brought you to their door would be an improvement from ‘how can I help you?’. Human or AI.

    6. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Actually the most inappropriate applications

      The FAQ battle was lost a *long* time ago. At best these days you might get an FAQ written by an actual serving member of the support team, but mostly they seem to be written at the same time, by the same people, and to the same dreadful standard as the rest of the documentation. Utterly pointless, in most case.

      GJC

      1. Korev Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Actually the most inappropriate applications

        >but mostly they seem to be written at the same time, by the same people, and to the same dreadful standard as the rest of the documentation.

        I once had "ownership" of a troublesome datascience system forced on me. A lot of the problems were self-inflicted, so every time I saw an issue twice I documented the hell out of it. This meant I just sent them the link and told them to come back if it's not fixed. After a while the data scientists started emailing the links to one another and the service desk also did the same. The end result was I could get on and do something useful and the data scientists could get back to work quicker. An added bonus was that any problems not in the FAQ were often hard enough to be fun to work on.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Actually the most inappropriate applications

      You have a very old fashioned view of HR. Their purpose for years has been to function as bureaucratic cholesterol and gum up as much as possible while hiding, sorry working, at home.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Actually the most inappropriate applications

        … and despite supporting the business in closing my offices so we all WFH now … obfuscate and block my request for a Remote Worker Contract change.

        So my contracted place of work is an office we no longer have. “You never know ……”

    8. fajensen

      Re: Actually the most inappropriate applications

      Maybe "supposed to" but, nah. FAQ's run out of steam quickly.

      Using ChatGPT, one can instruct ChatGPT to read a pile of documents carefully and then one can ask question about specific things covered by the bumf. Those can be boring documents,like HR-policies and user manuals. ChatGPT doesn't care.

      In My Opinion, It does that kind of task very well.

      Same with source code that it has "read". One needs to know which exceptions "datetime.datetime.fromisoformat()" can raise, ChatGPT will give a very solid answer, a lot better than the snot-rollers and navel-defluffers faffing around on StackOverflow will do because most of that lot for sure hasn't read the docs before answering! ChatGPT will provide code examples too.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear AI. Please explain what went wrong with the markets for 3D TVs, fondue sets and Segways

    1. Joe W Silver badge

      Fondue is brilliant (cheese fondue, that is). I don't own the other one, but have fond memories and might just get one.

      1. MiguelC Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        You can just use the same set for bourguignonne. I'm not even sure specific sets exist :)

        1. Ace2 Silver badge

          I have one (it’s great) in the shape of a big Hershey’s Kiss. It feels weird to use it for cheese.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        My significant other and I had a cultural mis-understanding a while ago. She had always thought Fondue was cooking meet in a communal pot of hot oil, and I had always thought that Fondue was a concoction of cheese, wine, and possibly a bit of flour.... I couldn't understand how you could possibly melt small pieces of steak and dip pieces of bread in it....

        1. that one in the corner Silver badge

          > I couldn't understand how you could possibly melt small pieces of steak

          Ye god's, just how hot was the oil, to melt steak?

    2. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

      Have to say 3D TVs are generally one feature that can't be placed at the feet of the TV manufacturers :

      People don't like wearing things to see content

      There wasn't that much 3D content unless you have a Bluray player with 3D support

      Some of the glasses were expensive for additional pairs

      Beyond that the technology generally worked well. Some manufacturers (LG?) did an auto 3D conversion for game consoles etc that was very effective. Feed in a Wii U running Super Mario 3D World and the parts that should have popped out of the screen did, despite the fact the Wii U has almost no games that officially support stereoscopy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        They also make a non-insignificant chunk of the potential buying public feel nauseous. I watched one for about ten minutes and would never again.

    3. spacecadet66 Bronze badge

      Well I'm not an AI (and I am willing to do a CAPTCHA to prove it), but I think I can say with confidence that Segways never took off because it is impossible to ride one without looking like the biggest dork in the entire wide world.

      1. Don Bannister

        Oh but they are fun :-)

  6. may_i

    AI?

    It's ML!!

    If these "biz leaders" could get their heads around the fact that there's no intelligence here, artificial or otherwise, maybe they might start to understand.

    If I try to contact a company with an issue and get diverted to a chatbot, or even worse, a voice recognition system, I hang up and do not return.

    1. Plest Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: AI?

      Yeah but ML doesn't sound anywhere as futuristic and "sci-fi-ey" as AI does when put in the marketing bullshit.

    2. spuck

      Re: AI?

      Is it time to start calling them "expert systems" again?

      1. spacecadet66 Bronze badge

        Re: AI?

        Why don't we reach back clear to the 1950s and start saying "electronic brains" again? It's every bit as accurate as "artificial intelligence" (i.e. 0%).

        1. T. F. M. Reader

          Re: AI?

          I assume you mean "positronic brains" - that's what they were called in the 50ies.

          1. spacecadet66 Bronze badge

            Re: AI?

            I meant "electronic brains", which was a popular term for computers in news articles when they (computers, not news articles) were a new thing.

    3. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

      Re: AI?

      They dont care, grow up and smell the coffee. These peiple who are pushing AI are nothing but professional bullshittes and liars who have no integrity of any kind. THey are just tryiing to pump and dump. THey couldnt care about whether they are actualy selling something that betters humanity in anyway.

  7. Howard Sway Silver badge

    One issue is that AI has not yet paid off for those trying to make it work

    Another issue is that there's a sucker born every minute

    1. ecofeco Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: One issue is that AI has not yet paid off for those trying to make it work

      But where the hell do all those sucker get so much money to begin with?!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: One issue is that AI has not yet paid off for those trying to make it work

      The only big winners in AI have been NVidia and the AI hype sellers like the Cloud Hypers and cuntsultants.

      Don’t worry … another IT Bubble will be on it’s way real soon.

      1. spacecadet66 Bronze badge

        Re: One issue is that AI has not yet paid off for those trying to make it work

        We all know by now how to make money in a gold rush, right? Don't go looking for gold: instead, sell shovels and pickaxes.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    next divisional CIO that hammers us for an AI project

    is likely to be chained to Liar's Gate*.

    there is NO intelligence - articifial or other wise.

    it is not a lot more than just ingesting, processing, iterating with questions to a very large data set.

    *= bolt holed, but not sure that'd get by El Reg's censors ;-)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: next divisional CIO that hammers us for an AI project

      AI seems to be the bastard offspring of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and report summarisation.

  9. Tron Silver badge

    So instead of bursting in 2026...

    ...the AI bubble will start to deflate later this year and finally join the Metaverse in 2025?

    Am I getting old or are tech bubbles getting shorter?

    1. zimzam

      Re: So instead of bursting in 2026...

      Does this even qualify as a bubble? Only a handful of companies have really taken off in value. Don't bubbles have to be more widespread? This seems more like a spatter.

      1. Plest Silver badge
        Gimp

        Re: So instead of bursting in 2026...

        Ohh yeah baby, spatter your new fangled tech....it's alright I'll leave....

      2. JoeCool Silver badge

        Re: So instead of bursting in 2026...

        Companies pushing AI heavily:

        Intel MS~1 AMD Nvidia Google Salesfarce SAP Oracle Amazon Tesla Facebook ...

        Sure it's a bubble. A HYPE bubble.

    2. EricM

      Re: So instead of bursting in 2026...

      Agree with you.

      An in my case he answer probably is: "both" :)

  10. IGotOut Silver badge

    Stock Market Crash (again)

    In 3...2...1

  11. TVU Silver badge

    Payoff from AI projects is 'dismal', biz leaders complain

    Well, much less hype and more actual practical applications are required then, aren't they?

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Payoff from AI projects is 'dismal', biz leaders complain

      Vaporware: The A.I. Project

      1. Plest Silver badge

        Re: Payoff from AI projects is 'dismal', biz leaders complain

        Not heard that term in a long time, not since the 1990s! Ah, a time when every company had a new piece of software on the drawing board, spent £25k on marketing and 2 years later we were all still waiting.

    2. DancesWithPoultry
      Alert

      Re: Payoff from AI projects is 'dismal', biz leaders complain

      I dunno....

      The AI I've interreacted with appears very good at bullshitting when it doesn't know the right answer.

      It'll have a very good future in politics.

      1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble?
        Joke

        Re: Payoff from AI projects is 'dismal', biz leaders complain

        It'll have a very good future in politics.

        I wouldn't count on it

        https://www.theregister.com/2024/06/12/ai_bot_wyoming/

  12. breakfast Silver badge
    Trollface

    "Unfortunately, the financial benefits of implemented projects have been dismal,"

    This is a usage of "unfortunately" that does not encompass those of us who experience a certain schadenfreude at the inevitable failure of guaranteed-to-fail projects that we could have warned people would fail if any of them would listen.

    1. JWLong

      Schadenfreude

      ...."at the inevitable failure of guaranteed-to-fail projects that we could have warned people would fail if any of them would listen."

      It's really hard to get people to listen when they have their head up their backside. I just leave them to suffer.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      “Not a supporter of change or Team Player” are you.

      No ‘rock-star’ Performance Review rating for you.

      1. breakfast Silver badge

        On the upside my employer is quite willing to listen to my suggestions, on the downside the boss always seems to know when I'm slacking off. It's a two-edged sword, being self-employed.

  13. sarusa Silver badge
    Devil

    Well what a shock

    You invested millions or billions without a single coherent business plan, or often without a business case at all.

    You had no frickin' plan or reason or rhyme for any of it other than 'oh everyone says we need AI'.

    So of course you are losing your shirt on it.

    The only people who make money on LLMs are: 1) The people providing the subscriptions/tech (OpenAI is obviously making out like a bandit), 2) SEO spammers and other generators of 'content', 3) people who don't have to pay for artists any more and can now crap out a new terrible porn game with AI art to put on Steam every week. 4) I'm sure I'm forgetting some other category, but it does not include J Random Corporation who just bought into the hype train.

    1. zimzam

      Re: Well what a shock

      LLMs are actually exceeding difficult to train from the ground up. So OpenAI probably aren't doing as well as you might think. Most other companies providing LLMs are piggybacking off others, which doesn't cost nearly as much.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well what a shock

      OpenAI is most certainly not making out like a bandit. They are massively loss-making because the cost (mostly computing hardware, power and water to cool the whole thing) to run the models is truly astronomical. They can't charge fees high enough to break even because nobody would pay them if they were even close to cost (Microsoft is estimated to lose up to $100 a month per Co-Pilot subscription for the same reason). OpenAI is entirely dependent on investor money to stay afloat and will probably stay that way for ever.

      The real profit is made by Nvidia which sells the hardware and Azure which rents out the computing power for the LLM companies.

  14. Kev99 Silver badge

    "Payoff from AI projects is 'dismal'" Well, boo-hoo-hoo. That's what you get for jumping onto the latest fad-de-jour.

  15. ecofeco Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Complain?

    WHOCOULDAKNOWED?!

    Business leaders? Of what? The stupid parade?

  16. Nematode

    AI - just the latest form of garbage-in-garbage-out. Don't confuse accepting language and regurgitating well-formed language with "intelligence"

    1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble?

      I've been waiting for this:

      The ability to speak does not make you intelligent as given to us by the sage Qui Gon Jinn twenty five years ago,

  17. Stuart Castle Silver badge

    I think the problem is that like a lot of other trendy and buzzword technologies (e.g. Blockchain), people have bought into the AI hype without really thinking through whether it will fit their needs, and if so, how they can best use it.

    Then they buy into the hype, and find either that AI isn't as good as they were lead to believe, or that their business has no real use for AI.

    It's natural that those people will complain of a lack of return on investment, and look at cutting future investment.

    Remember that while AI appears intelligent. it probably isn't. It's just good at mixing up it's input data in different ways and using that to produce apparently original output.

    For instance, a while back, Chat GPT passed a US State Bar exam. They fed in years worth of previous exams, with the answers and it produced correct answers to the most recent Bar exam. That does not mean it is qualified to practice law though because it was just regurgitating answers from previous exams. It did not understand the law, or even the nuances of what it was answering.

    1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

      This is more of a reflection on the exam itself that it simply gives the same questions without introducing any variation that requires thought but rather is a memory test.

    2. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

      AI does amazing things, but not necessarily valuable things.

      I think valuable short-term uses would be audio processing, video compression, and content indexing.

  18. David 164

    I notice AI have been more successfully use by individuals using it to speed up their own work on projects rather company wide centralise schemes.

    The current generation of LLMs are unlikely to lead to substantial job cuts for at 5 to 10 years an that what most business wanted them for.

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      I strongly suspect that lots of the AI induced job cuts will be down to the failure of hype chasing AI companies, either straight failure or being borged, and the resulting lack of need for the previous infrastructure meaning the supply chain will drop off too.

      Large players, with the most money who can absorb the costs in the distant hope of making it profitable at some point in the future, will probably down size their teams in the next year or two to try and help balance the budget.

      Just my predictions anyway. With better and cheaper to run hardware behind ML tech it can change at any time but the problem is that the more specific the hardware the more likely it is to be obsolete sooner.

  19. arachnoid2

    The King has no cloths

    Has the little boy shouted up about AI yet?

  20. Sparkus

    Dear AI Sheeple

    Told ya so

    Respectfully,

    Everyone

  21. Groo The Wanderer Silver badge

    And the "AI" vendors gleefully cried "Suckers!"

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Gold Rush

      The tool makers are as usual, doing very well. Nice pivot from block chain

  22. Mitoo Bobsworth

    Another fad enabling the lazy & untalented

    After witnessing a fair amount of what's being produced with this technology, I'm reminded that the back end of a Bull is also, in point of fact, a 'content creator.'

  23. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

    Oh yes the new growth industry in America. Bullshitting.

    Bullshit and lie for short term bonuses.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Oh dear, there is NOTHING new about this.

      Land scams are HOW the U.S. was settled. Before that, you could buy tulips.

      1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

        I was referring to how the major market leaders have as their primary missiong as bullshitting.

        In the past Ford built cars, Boeing built planes today the market leaders on the stock exchange are as their primary mission - bullshitters.

        Tesla - need i say more ?

        Facebook, Google, Twitter all about pushing BULLSHIT

        NVidia,

        Boeing

        Hollywood

        Music industry

        I could list others but i believe the above are without doubt primary examples of my statement.

  24. Binraider Silver badge

    MS wasting a bucket on fantasy might well be the best thing they could do for the competitors.

    GPU prices have a ways to go though until the bull does down. How long did your attention on chatgpt last anyways?

  25. ocelot

    AI : No matter how you serve it, Spam in a can is still spam.

  26. a_n_alias

    The best use case I have found for GenAI is when dealing with content produced by GenAI, such as GenAI-generated spam, emails and other documents. Thanks to GenAI, much of this is moved to spam folders or even filtered out completely, ensuring I never waste my time with it. As for any content that manages to slip through, I use GenAI to summarize it and reduce it back down to the short prompt written by the coworker to produce it. As such, I waste my time with only what the coworker himself wrote, not with what GenAI expanded upon. It definitely saves time when I reduce my exposure to GenAI-produced verbiage to the bare minimum (ideally to nothing if GenAI advances sufficiently).

  27. sammm

    A change of terms in how to mesure efficiency

    AI is the first technology the bosses bought for us that doesn't come with any instructions, just a slip of paper that says "figure out how you can use me to make you more productive." Now all the sudden I got two jobs, all of my regular paid work, and now this new one to figure out how to use AI to make my job more productive. How come I'm so much more busy now, and still haven't been able to come up with a solid and fool proof plan to make myself more productive using AI? Someone tell my boss somebody else is getting the efficiency gains, and also please tell my wife this doesn't mean there will be more bacon? And one more thing, who's getting screwed here, my boss, me, or my wife?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A change of terms in how to mesure efficiency

      "And one more thing, who's getting screwed here, my boss, me, or my wife?"

      What do you mean, "or"?

  28. Zippy´s Sausage Factory
    Unhappy

    Attention. We have officially arrived at the "wow, this is actually expensive for not much" stage of the hype cycle...

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