White cyborg finger about to touch human finger on city background 3D rendering

Gargantuan AI fail

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Imagine this…a long day at a conference, your back hurts, your feet hurt and your mood is just a wee bit surly after networking all day. You wander through the hotel and see the light…a place to get a drink. You stop, unload your coat and computer bag, have a seat and look up to call the bartender over only to be greeted with a tablet screen. That’s right…no bartender.

You have found yourself at Robo Bar, a robotic bar system designed by the Italian company MAKR SHAKR.  What the heck, let’s try it out. To create and order drinks, you access a customized app on the pre-set tablet. All the orders currently in queue and the ingredients being added are displayed on four 92-inch LED screens, along with real-time infographics and videos.

You can then sit back and watch your “bartender”, whose name by the way, is Jengo, muddle, stir, shake, strain and serve drinks in a highly social, exciting and interactive environment. These robotic arms mimic the actions of a real bartender, from the shaking of a cocktail to the slicing of a lemon to the muddling of a Cuba Libre.  And, true story, because I read it on the Internet, in order to create an even more engaging bar experience, all the robotic movements were modeled on the gestures of the Italian dancer and choreographer Marco Pelle from the New York Theatre Ballet.

So, last week to celebrate my wedding anniversary and birthday, my husband and I took a trip to Biloxi, MS. At some point in my shopping frenzy, I found myself in front of one of the only Robo Bar’s in the city at the Beau Rivage Hotel and Casino. Hey, they have one at the Biloxi Hard Rock Casino as well. Robo Bar must be big on the Gulf Coast.

I pulled out my Samsung Note 9+ and started videotaping this robotic arm making drinks. The place was crowded, people were excited to try it and it was all quite novel…well, until IT happened. Jengo decided to go a little wild as the video will show. He? It? She? Well, whatever, that’s right, the robot decided to load up on glasses “just because.” It was an epic fail as glasses started falling over as Jengo tried to stack them one on top of the other and just kept stacking. No clue that glasses were falling all over, since, well, Jengo has no eyes. Everyone was laughing hysterically as the glass situation got out of hand. In rushed a human to turn Jengo off, push some buttons and set him straight. Back to business as usual.

I tell this story to point out the fact that AI is definitely not ready for prime time. All the technology in the world we’re using today, especially in the security field, still has its glitches. Things like:

  • Facial recognition
  • License plate recognition
  • Fingerprint recognition

Imagine the length of time and amount of data one needs to put together a true AI application. There are so many “what if this, then that” factors to consider. Bottom line is this, if you don’t have the data, then you most definitely don’t even want to touch AI.  According to asmag.com, China seems a bit ahead of the United States, where the US is still in the beginning stages of good reliable AI.  Andrew Elvish, VP of Marketing at Genetec, a global provider of IP video surveillance, access control and license plate recognition solutions stated that, “I think the computing power has a long way to go to catch up, and it’s not just a question of computing, it’s a question of do we have the algorithms and the ability to build true artificial intelligence.”

As far as the issue of eDiscovery and AI, will robots be replacing lawyers? According to David Lat, editor at large and founding editor of Above the Law, he stated “not anytime soon.” He also said that “certain parts of a lawyer’s job, especially those aspects that are more rote or mechanical, will be outsourced to technology.” We’re all familiar with TAR, but is it failproof? You make the call. Or you could swing by the closest Robo Bar and ask Jengo. Oh, that’s right, Jengo doesn’t talk to its customers.

IMNSHO, no matter how good the technology, there will always be mistakes and failures and unless there is a live person to circumvent the possible mistakes and failures of AI, it simply is too early in the game to rely on it 100%. Open the pod bay doors, Hal. Scary stuff!

For a good laugh and example of an epic AI fail, watch the 3 minute Jengo epic fail video on the YouTube eDiscovery Channel. See you next week.


Gayle O'Connor on Email
Gayle O'Connor
Gayle O’Connor is a legal technology marketing consultant with 30+ years’ experience. She is the sole proprietor of GMO Marketing which provides marketing assistance to attorneys and legal vendors. She is an expert on social media, content marketing, speaking, and blogging. In 2018, Gayle was named as an honoree in the 5,000 strong membership of Women in eDiscovery.

Gayle has held a variety of positions including Marketing Director at Degen, Blanchard and Nash, a large law firm located in New Orleans, and has served as a marketing strategist for numerous legal software providers. Gayle was also the former trial technician for the federal public defenders Hells Angels case in Seattle, WA.

Throughout her career, Gayle has been a speaker at numerous conferences ranging from the New Zealand Law Society, the ABA, Access to Justice Foundation as well as local organizations such as bar associations and NBI CLE offerings.

She can be reached at [email protected] or @gaylemoconnor.

She is also an avid Harley rider.

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