“Some people call this artificial intelligence, but the reality is this technology will enhance us. So instead of artificial intelligence, I think we’ll augment our intelligence.” —Ginni Rometty
In my previous post, I have briefly described the various advancement in AI technologies that have been happening the past few years and its potential implications on our future.
Those advancement showed that AI technologies can potentially be so much better at pattern recognition, data collection and decision making than humans.
However, don’t despair just yet. Many technology experts still believe that there are three areas that AIs still having trouble mastering: idea creation, large frame pattern recognition and complex communication.
Let’s dissect those three skills further.
Idea creation: In their book the Second Machine Age, Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson said, “Ideation in its many forms is an area today where humans have a comparative advantage over machines. Scientists come up with new hypotheses. Journalists sniff out a good story. Chefs add a new dish to the menu. Engineers on a factory floor figure out why a machine is no longer working properly. Steve Jobs and his colleagues at Apple figure out what kind of tablet computer we actually want. Many of these activities are supported and accelerated by computers, but none are driven by them.”
Large frame pattern recognition: Although computer vision, hearing, and even touch are getting exponentially better all the time (AI driven cars), there are still tasks where our eyes, ears, and skin, to say nothing of our noses and tongues, surpass their digital equivalents. At present and for some time to come, the sensory package and its tight connection to the pattern-recognition engine of the brain gives us a broader frame than those of the AIs. These means that at the moment, we are better at sensing the changing trends in our environment and adapting to it faster than AI’s algorithms. I said at the moment, because as AI’s sensory technology improve overtime, this advantage might no longer be true in the future.
Complex communication: This is the one area where I think human will prevail over AI in the future. AIs have no trouble interpreting human direct communication, however, this doesn’t reflect how human normally communicates. When we talk to one another, our communication contain many hidden subtexts (indirect messages) that will be almost impossible for an AI without empathy to understand.
For example, when we say “I don’t like you”, we don’t usually mean “I hate you” or “I don’t want to relate with you ever again.” The meaning of the phrase depends on the subtexts that accompany those words. If for instance, the person still seems to be eager to meet you and talk to you after the incident, then chances are “I don’t like you” means “I don’t know what to feel about you.”
This is why training AIs to communicate like human is very difficult. Unless we are able to transmute human empathy into AI algorithms, I don’t think robots will prevail over us in complex communication department.
In conclusion, after reading dozens of literature on the subject, I now see that AI developments are not something to be feared; but something to be treaded with prudence. Machines can have very different strengths and weaknesses than humans. When engineers work to amplify these differences, building on the areas where machines are strong and humans are weak, then the machines are more likely to complement humans rather than substitute for them. Effective production in the near future require both human and machine inputs, and the value of the human inputs will grow, not shrink, as the power of machines increases
Our success in the future will depend on how well we work with robots.
I would like to end this series by giving you two advice that are worth considering (1) Think deeply about these technological implications on your industry, ask if your industry is still relevant (2) Seek to develop the three skills that I described above because I believe that they are essential for your future survival in life 3.0.
Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor!
I hope that you find this article useful and if you wanted to delve deeper into this topic, do read the book “Life 3.0: Being Human in The Age of Artificial Intelligence” By Max Tegmark that greatly inspires this article. You can get it here or anywhere else you get your E-book.
Lastly, if you wanted to get my next article earlier, leave your email on the subscribe box below. By subscribing to this blog, you will get my latest Ebook- Threesome (It’s still in Indonesian) and one bonus article every month.
Read the series:
- Rise of the AI Overlord- Death of Humanism.
- Rise of the AI Overlord- Race Against the Machines
- Rise of The AI Overlord- Thriving in Life 3.0