Intelligence is the mental ability that is used in reasoning, problem-solving and learning and integrates the core cognitive functions of perception, memory, attention, focus, planning and language. Years of research has proven over and again that intelligence is measurable through standardised, scientific tests and can be altered through customised means and methods.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has evolved greatly over the years and is going see more revolutionary changes in its design, functions and importance over the years. Currently, AI is being used in several industries and business functions like cybersecurity, banking, marketing, sales, transportation, customer engagement, etc. mainly for the purposes of automation of regular and mundane tasks. Certain food delivery businesses, navigation using Google Maps, the first level of customer engagement, lead generation and technical support on the website and online platforms, digital music selection on Spotify, web application security, factory assembly lines, etc. are already leveraging AI to a great extent.
Unlike machines and computers, AI uses contextual awareness which gives it the ability to sense, analyse and respond to a given, current context or situation to produce maximum success using past data stored in its memory and insights from a range of fields and activities. Machine learning and natural language processing are further enabling organisations to leverage AI to do more sophisticated and customised tasks too.
Uber is conducting pilot studies and tests for self-driving cars. There is a lot more ongoing research to leverage AI with Machine Learning and natural language processing to make processes more efficient and cost-effective.
Will AI replace human intelligence?
With the magnitude of investment flowing into R&D of AI solutions in various fields, it is widely feared that AI will take over the jobs leaving several millions of individuals unemployed and at some point, even take over the world.
It is justified to some extent to have such fears since there is a number of jobs lost especially those involving mundane and regular tasks and judgements. But overall, AI cannot replace human intelligence. Why?
Three reasons. One, human intelligence is a product of millions of years of learning and fine-tuning. Our cognitive skills and abilities are evolved to a point that we can multi-task, respond to new circumstances and changes effectively, adapting to a dynamic environment, handle abstract ideas and complicated tasks, process even vague commands, be flexible and so on.
Two, human intelligence includes interpersonal and interpersonal intelligence which enables humans to process emotions, make observations, respond to sensitive information, make judgements, creatively solve problems, etc. Both of these are human prerogatives and cannot be mimicked by machines.
Three, AI being a replicated version of the human intelligence, will require several times more R&D, instructions and investments to be able to completely mimic the human intelligence or become superior to it. At best, AI can be a powerful tool for humans to use to improve the way the world functions.
It is an undeniable fact that AI is a powerful tool. It is also true that the attention level and focus of human beings have shrunk greatly owing to the availability of excess information around us.
The voluminous amounts of data generated cannot be fully understood and analysed by human intelligence and when added with the shrinking attention spans and plateauing cognitive growth in the past few years, accentuates the problem further. With the help of AI and Machine Learning, we can make sense of these data and unearth hidden patterns, trends and correlations.
By leveraging the insights so produced, we can improve our personal and professional lives and engage in better decision-making, improve the overall efficiency of our work and so on. For instance, using AI in education technology, we can create superior learners with higher order skills by making them better understand their strengths and weaknesses, helping them devise methods to overcome their mistakes and effectively understand a given subject.
Another example is marketing where AI and ML are widely used by marketers to automate mundane, routine tasks while leveraging the insights to create impactful marketing strategies, improving customer engagement and focusing on increasing their ROI. The use of AI helps them to declutter the data available to them to focus on what is essential.
The emergence of Intelligence Amplification
The idea and understanding that AI and Machine Learning need not replace humans but aid them and help augment human intelligence has led to the emergence of intelligence amplification (IA) and IA technologies. A great example of IA technology is IBM’s Watson supercomputer which provides information to accentuate human intelligence, understands and analyses their decisions based on the information and amplifies its own intelligence.
It has proven to be very useful to doctors in making diagnosis and providing treatment because doctors need not rely only on their finite knowledge; Watson sifts through the abundance of newly published and existing medical-diagnostic materials to present the doctors with new pieces of knowledge and information that will help them in making data-driven decisions that they may not have thought of otherwise.
Intelligence amplification can be started as early as primary and secondary stages of cognitive development of children using education technology to enable them to unleash their full potential and bring out the genius in them.
Through scientific assessments, we can delve deep into the human brain and understand its efficiency. Based on this understanding, personalised learning plans can be drafted, and customised education can be provided to children to develop their cognitive skills and augment their intelligence.
With more research and development in intelligence amplification, we improve the brain efficiency manifold and significantly alter the way the world functions.
Shane, COO and Co-Founder at StackStudio