Fortune

Cast a Critical Eye Over the A.I. Hype Merchants

Like mainframe computers in the 1960s, artificial intelligence has the potential to transform business. But the key to utilizing it will be realizing its limitations.

LIKE BEES TO HONEY, tech trends generate hype. Merely appending the word “dotcom” to a company’s name drove up stock prices in the Internet’s salad days. Cloud computing, big data, and cryptocurrencies each have taken their turn in the hype cycle in recent years. Every trend brings genuinely promising technological developments, befuddling buzzwords, enthusiastic investors, and reassuring consultants offering enlightenment—for a fee, naturally.

Now the catchall phrase of artificial intelligence is shaping up as the defining technological trend of

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