symbiotic relationship

September 5, 2019

Gary Peacock is Head of Innovation and Research at Gordian Business, and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He is also the co-author of Persuading for Results and Managing B2B customers you can’t afford to lose.

No doubt AI has made massive strides and is continuing its relentless march. But those who extol its deep impact tend to forget there is no AI without HI. AI is but an artificial version of human intelligence, less impactful in areas that demand social and creative skills. The truly intelligent are those who leverage the best of both.

Amara’s law: We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run. – Roy Amara, Institute for the Future

Why tap the power of AI and HI?

AI is already here

Perhaps, you think you have never seen AI. However, if you buy using Amazon, watch Netflix, listen to Spotify, or use Facebook, then every day you see AI in action.

AI is how Netflix recommends the next TV series or film. “The data—not a critic or human annotator—determines which shows go together.” (AIQ, Polson and Scott, 2018).

In India, if you are one of the 300 million Facebook users, when you post photographs, Facebook automatically suggests tagging some people including yourself. AI recognizes images every day in millions of transactions. So, every day AI surrounds you. For more insights on AI, read Nick Polson and James Scott’s book AIQ: How artificial intelligence works and how we can harness its power for a better world.

AI will automate jobs that are repetitive and based on following rules. But we will need Human Intelligence (HI). What do we mean by HI?

HI = (Social Intelligence) + (Creative Intelligence)

The terms social and creative intelligence come from some complex academic research (The Future of Employment, Frey & Osborne). The research explores jobs and tasks, and calculates the probability of robots or computers replacing humans.

The research concludes: “…while sophisticated algorithms and developments … with big data, now allow many non-routine tasks to be automated, occupations that involve complex perception of manipulation tasks, ‘creative intelligence’ tasks, and ‘social intelligence’ tasks are unlikely to be substituted by computer capital over the next decade or two.”

To tap the power of AI and HI, consider how you can use AI to improve your efficiency and only use your HI where it makes a big difference.

So, for most organizations, the barriers to computerization of tasks and jobs are social intelligence and creative intelligence. We have combined these into the single term: Human Intelligence. These are the soft skills that AI cannot copy. Soft skills where the cold hand of a computer cannot replace the warm hand of a human.

While the research describes social intelligence as a bottleneck to computerization, in a world of AI, we suggest social intelligence and creative intelligence are your sources of competitive advantage. Consider how you can build skills in empathy, negotiation, persuasion, assisting others, and originality?

How to tap the power of HI and AI? When is AI good?


What cannot AI do? You might guess that AI cannot read emotions well. However, already, software can detect some emotions accurately: from the tone of voice or facial expressions. Sometimes AI recognizes emotion better than human beings. So, consider how you can use AI to decide how you will treat customers: automate most customers and send a few customers to humans.

Australian bank Ubank has assigned chatbots to help customers with their applications for home loans.1 Or read about their latest version in February 2019. Chatbots can also schedule meetings like a human.2

To tap the power of AI and HI, consider how you can use AI to improve your efficiency and only use your HI where it makes a big difference.

Increasingly, the companies that win are those who learn faster, act quicker and adapt sooner. – Mark Feldman

When is HI good?

If we want to persuade people, we still need humans. AI can detect an emotion. Only humans know how to persuade people to change emotions. So, put aside logic and numbers, ask yourself: in my organization, when do we need to persuade people to change emotions?

You must regularly invest in HI skills to improve your employee’s empathy, persuasion, and negotiation.

AI can detect an emotion. Only humans know how to persuade people to change emotions. So, put aside logic and numbers, ask yourself: in my organization, when do we need to persuade people to change emotions?

For those in healthcare and social care who want to see how AI can help, the report by Skills for Care, Scoping study on the emerging use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics in social care will give greater insights.

AI can complement HI negotiation skills by analyzing data such as multiple previous deals to find the patterns in successful deals. For the 100 previous deals in this geography, what are the normal ranges for the 20 variables in this type of deal?

For AI to be effective, humans need to define the problem, humans need to understand the trade-offs in solving the problem, and humans need to define the goal. Only humans know how to act on the insights from AI.

“A machine can fit a model, but only people can use that model to ask the right question.” – AIQ

You must invest in the skills of problem-solving, and you must invest in some skills in creative intelligence: ‘to produce unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem’.

For AI to be effective, humans need to define the problem, humans need to understand the trade-offs in solving the problem, and humans need to define the goal. Only humans know how to act on the insights from AI.

Conclusion

Because AI complements HI, we should tap the power of HI and AI. Nick Polson and James Scott agree too: “When it comes to the important decisions in life, we can and should combine artificial intelligence with human insight and human values. All it takes is people and machines working together.”

 

Frey, C.B. & Osborne, M. (2013) The Future of Employment, Oxford Martin School.

Polson, N. &Scott, J. (2018). AIQ: How Artificial Intelligence works and how we can harness its power for a better world, Bantam Press.

Ransbotham, S. &Gerbert, P. &Reeves, M. &Kiron, D. &Spira, M. (September 2018), Artificial Intelligence in Business Gets Real,” MIT Sloan Management Review and The Boston Consulting Group.

01 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IeIDDs4Lrg

02 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvbHu_bVa_g&feature=youtu.be