What’s interesting, though, is that modern AI techniques like deep neural networks aren’t actually that well-suited for projects like Sheldon County. Ryan says he mainly uses what’s sometimes called symbolic AI or, pejoratively, “good old-fashioned AI.” This approach is less about mining data to look for patterns, as with deep learning, and more about creating sets of rules and logical instructions that guide a process.
There are some simple reasons modern AI don’t work for tasks like this, says Riedl. It’s partly that techniques like deep learning still aren’t good at generating coherent text (even the most advanced chatbots today rely on preprogrammed phrases). And also because older techniques give programmers more control over the output.