We all love to dream and with a population increasingly relying on science and technology as its’ religion, we like to look far out and think “this is what it will be like one day.” Everyone keeps hearing about artificial intelligence (AI) in all aspects of their life; self-driving cars, smart homes and marketing that is made for a customer based on their interests. But this is not AI, a term that more properly defines this type of technology use in our products/services is Augmented Intelligence.
The goal of Augmented Intelligence is not to replace cognitive, human thought processes, but to assist humans through systematic logic.
Augmented Intelligence Has Existed Since the 1700s… Well Kind Of
In the 1700s, Wolfgang von Kempelen constructed what is known today as the Mechanical Turk. He did this to impress the Empress of Austria, the machine appeared to play a game of chess against any opponent; but in reality the machine had a space for someone to hide underneath to actually make the pieces move.
The Mechanical Turk was blatant fraud, but the core principals of AI are applied to business using this premise. Using assistance, machine and logic computing helps aid humans for all kinds of processing.
Financial Services industries rely heavily on augmented intelligence or AI-assisted processing of transactions and document verification. These computer systems can designate certain flags and conflict resolve through a pronged, systematic approach. You may have experienced this frequently with “chatbots” that a lot of companies use for service related issues. Instead of having 100s of humans manage a chat response prompt, we now only have a handful of humans to assist in the issues when the machine cannot find the appropriate response for the customer.
While the underlying technologies powering AI and Augmented Intelligence are the same, the goals and applications are fundamentally different; AI aims to create systems that run without humans, whereas IA aims to create systems that make humans better.
Reliance on AI Is Not Always Good
As Elon Musk stated in 2018 in regard to the Tesla Model 3 vehicle; “production hell” was created with too heavy of a reliance on automation. Part of the problem has been the company’s heavy use of automation, Musk said, noting that the company is working to resolve this problem. For instance, the company scrapped a complex conveyor system built for the Model 3 assembly line.
“We had this crazy complex network of conveyor belts and it was not working, so we got rid of that whole thing,” Musk said in his interview.
Without a clear understanding on how to use the technology for the business, detrimental results can happen. Tasks that are repeatable are prime candidates for augmented intelligence as it stands. Until machines can “think” quickly and access the channels to fill responses, augmented intelligence systems will increase service times, increase profit margins and better-serve customers’ needs. The future will bring great chance and full automation even for some of the most complex tasks, but most futurists agree we are a far way from that time.