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A.I. - throwing spaghetti at ceiling fans.

A.I. will ultimately be a disaster, we all know it. I've read enough Science Fiction to know what will happen!

But before the planet burns, we have to contend with the threat of our jobs being done by computers, ..again.

I remember being told that I would be replaced by 'software code' when PCB auto-routing really hit the scene in the mid 90's. Now I'm all for being more productive so I gave auto-routing my best shot. The first board was almost 100% digital and didn't require a ton of setup - component placement, some net topology and power attributes - and after a bit of hair-pulling it was done. It was quick, and the board worked!

But was it BETTER?

Well the bean-counters might have said it was better but imagine throwing a massive bowl of multi-coloured spaghetti at a ceiling fan! Add in some high power nets, EMC concerns, senstive signals, fast memory, thermal issues and it was very obvious that for future designs it would not be quicker or better.

But the worst part was not the reviewing of this mess, or the prospect of implementing future mods, but the feeling of lack of control. The whole design was skirting the edges of acceptability, and was far from 'exceeding expectations'. I had to put my name to this and was not happy with that. This is surely the AI problem going forward - trusting your job to 3rd party software. You can be sure that the suppliers of the software will take little or no accountability for your results.

This revolution in processing power will greatly speed up number crunching and information gathering but I hope that we can concentrate on getting BETTER results over just being cheaper and quicker. Just because most of the world is moving to quick, low-cost, low-quality solutions doesn't mean that we should all embrace that.

Remember, just as the auto-routing tools improve, so do the manual routing tools - and we can retain full control of the design.

Artificial Intelligence?

I'll take Natural Intelligence thanks!

Vital Sines - where none of our 1200+ layouts have been done by HAL, K.I.T.T or C3-PO.

image by Freepik

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