Artificial intelligence and machine learning are considered the new new thing but Jim Goodnight sets the record straight: “That’s exactly what we have been doing in statistics for years and years. We just call it building a model where these computer people call it machine learning. It’s a model, it ain’t nothing the machine learned.”
What Goodnight has been doing for 50 years is developing computer software that applies statistical methods to data to help people make better decisions. Automating these decisions is what AI is all about: ”Once you have created software to make decisions and humans don’t have to make them, you are allowed to call it artificial intelligence.”
SAS, the statistical analysis software company Goodnight co-founded in 1976, has a remarkable track record.