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It absolutely is the case. Why do you think Google has been providing such services as Google Voice, ReCaptcha, Street View, heck... Maps... and basically everything that's awesome and free? (other than the stuff that puts advertisements in your peripheral vision)

Andrew Ng told a story about one of his first robots that was supposed to roam around the lab and collect coffee cups to deposit in the sink. He ran out of varieties of coffee cups to train the robot's vision well before the robot learned how to detect a coffee cup.

The key to being a successful AI company is to figure out how to get the world to send you data.

Edit: That or figure out how real brains work and how to scale them. Which is probably almost, but not quite, entirely unlike a convolutional neural net.

Edit2: This also leads us to a twist of the dogmatic refrain: If you're not the customer, you're the employee.




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