I would say the people who are the most confident self-identifying as data scientists are almost unilaterally frauds. They are not people that you would voluntarily spend a lot of time with. There are a lot of people in this category that have only been exposed to a little bit of real stuff — they’re sort of peripheral…
The issue is that no person with a PhD in AI starts one of these companies, because if you get a PhD in AI, you’ve spent years building a bunch of really shitty models, or you see robots fall over again, and again, and again. You become so acutely aware of the limitations of what you’re doing that the interest just gets beaten out of you. You would never go and say, “Oh yeah, I know the secret to building human-level AI.”
That feels to me like the magic of AI marketing: you label something as AI and it sounds impressive, but under the hood it’s Naive Bayes — it’s whatever the simplest thing you can get up and running. And there’s a mysticism around the difficulty of the technology, even though the simplest thing gets you most of the way there.