Five things that demonstrate that AI and human collaboration is the future
Artificial Intelligence already outperforms humans in certain fields - here are five examples of why humans and machines are best when working as a team.
With the rapid rise of Artificial Intelligence and automated working processes, there is an assumption or even fear that because computers outperform humans at various tasks, they will soon be able to “outthink” us more generally.
Some experts disagree, saying that for the moment we still don’t have the technology and algorithms to equal the computational capacity of the human brain. Our existing neural networks are not good enough to create a true AI. It’ll take at least 15 years to get our computational power equal to the human brain.
But even if it would take 15 years or more, the current fear of being outperformed by machines distracts us from a less speculative topic in need of our closer attention: the ways in which machine intelligence and human intelligence complement one another. Humans plus computers will yield better results than either the most talented humans or the most advanced algorithms working in isolation.
Here are five examples of such collaborations.
1. Helping blind people to drive cars
Daniela Rus, director of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) believes that people and machines should not be competitors, but collaborators. In a keynote at EmTech MIT 2017, she pointed out that robotics might end up augmenting human abilities in some surprising ways. For instance, Rus mentioned a project at MIT that involves using AI technology to help people with impaired vision navigate in self-driving cars.
2. Working together in quality control
“The most successful machine learning occurs when there is an element of human judgement, creativity and imagination involved in the process”, Tijmen Blankevoort, CTO of Scyfer, a company affiliated with the University of Amsterdam and recently acquired by Qualcomm, is quoted in this interesting blog entry on human and AI collaboration. Scyfer used AI at the quality control stage of steel production. The algorithm identifies the faults, then human experts in steel production indicate which faults are real and which are not via an interface.
3. AI and humans fighting wildlife poachers
PAWS, which stands for Protection Assistant for Wildlife Security, is a newly developed AI that uses data about previous poaching activities to determine patrol routes based on where poaching is likely to occur. The routes are also randomized to keep poachers from learning patrol patterns. Using machine learning, a branch of AI, PAWS can continually find new insights as more data is added.
4. Playing chess together (and winning against humans and AIs playing by themselves)
A chess computer beating Kasparow is old news, but a chess computer playing with a human against another computer – that’s new. It`s called a centaur chess player. Rather than half-horse, half-human, a centaur chess player marryies human intuition, creativity and empathy with a computer’s brute-force ability to remember and calculate a staggering number of chess moves, countermoves and outcomes. The centaur is an elegant example of the way visionaries see the optimal interplay between humans and machines. Combining the two in a team, experts say, results in a force that plays better than either humans or computers playing on their own.
5. Lawyers teaching AI how to do legal work
The legal profession is one example of an industry that AI will contribute to not despite but because of flesh and blood humans: “To build a truly robust AI product for the legal field, we will need a lawyer involved in the product design. Very soon we will need lawyers who understand AI concepts and capabilities and we will need to start thinking about what AI lawyer-specific products need to be built out. We will need lawyers who can bridge the gap between tech and law”, says Beena Ammanath, Global VP of Artificial Intelligence, Data and Innovation at Hewlett Packard Enterprise.