I recently stumbled upon this interesting video (watch below) on Twitter about ‘Humanistic AI’. It was a Ted Talk by Tom Gruber, co-creator of ‘Siri’ – Apple’s intelligent mobile assistant.
The premise of the talk is to understand what ‘Humanistic AI’ is and how it can augment and collaborate with us, instead of competing with or even replacing us.
This is a hot topic right now.
Just last month, Elon Musk warned political leaders at a tech event in the US that “AI is a fundamental existential risk for human civilization, and I don’t think people fully appreciate that…“. He also emphasised the need for precautionary intervention by governments saying “I think by the time we are reactive in AI regulation, it’s too late“.
I believe Tom Gruber is taking a stance against Elon’s doomsday prophecy and a part of his mantra seems to be that “as machines get smarter, we get smarter“. It might seem like a nice soundbite but as I thought more about this statement, it really resonated with me. Rather than AI overtaking us, why can’t we use it to become a better version of ourselves – a more intelligent self.
In the video, Tom provides a real example of how AI and humans can work together to achieve – what he calls – “superhuman results”. Within the field of cancer research and diagnosis, AI is playing a substantial role. Researchers have developed an AI classifier which can scan and diagnose cells which contain cancer.
This classifier works well, with 92.5% accuracy rate. Nonetheless, the human scores better, with a 96.9% accuracy rate. However, when AI and Humans combine and work together, the real magic happens.
As a result of this collaboration, the AI and human were able to achieve an accuracy rate of 99.5%. This is a phenomenal result and will certainly save many lives which may have been misdiagnosed when analysed separately.
This is a perfect illustration of how AI can assist us in achieving results beyond what is humanly possible. The machines are helping us get smarter!
This type of case, in my opinion, is transferable to many other industries and business functions.
For example, AI is having a growing importance in sales organisations. In sales, building relationships still plays a dominant role in closing deals. However, AI is now assisting managers and agents in understanding which opportunities have the best probability of closing successfully and most importantly, why.
Using these insights, sales people now have information on who to target first. They are also armed with strategic data to help them increase their win-rates. This approach is helping agents to work smarter and close opportunities, which in the past, may have been overlooked.
Tom finishes by saying “We are in the middle of a renaissance in AI“. And he’s right!
Companies and employees who embrace AI, machine-learning and predictive analytics have a major advantage over competitors who lag behind in this area.
By implementing an AI solution, not only can organisation’s achieve their goals, but employees can also become smarter while improving their overall results.
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