Tuesday, September 12, 2017

What Artificial Intelligence Can Teach Us

Most of us understand that artificial intelligence (AI) offers opportunities for productivity improvements in the form of speed, automation, standardized actions and responses, plus the opportunity for continuous improvements via machine learning. These opportunities are enabled by data inputs that are analyzed and processed through AI algorithms that execute a desired decision and action. For all of the great capabilities and benefits that AI can provide, there is also a potential dark side. AI solutions can easily codify our prejudices, bias, gender stereotypes and promote injustices intentionally or unintentionally. This threat, as real and serious as it is, can also be seen as an opportunity to evaluate who we are, what we want the future to look like, and then codify a better tomorrow.

Let's first take a look at what makes us human. When we interact with other humans, we access our accumulated life experiences, ambitions, education, training, character and personality traits, ethics, cultural norms, religious paradigms and morals to think through problems and challenges and to communicate our feelings and ideas. Our human qualities help us be great salespeople, teachers, writers, caregivers, programmers, police officers, doctors, inventors, carpenters, plumbers, managers, etc. We bring our human skills and attributes with us to work. Our employers don't expect to have to invest in all of these attributes before we can be productive. AI solutions, on the other hand, can't on their own bring these skills to the job. AI is just code and must be programmed by humans to be productive and successful, and to treat humans humanely.

In more complex environments like sales and customer service, human participants often depend on their personal backgrounds and understandings to successfully communicate and resolve difficult situations to everybody's' satisfaction. How do we program these human qualities into AI? How do we add feelings of empathy, compassion, love, moral obligations, kindness, fairness, equality and justice to our AI solutions? We have a lot of thinking to do here. We expect these qualities to be present in even the most junior of call center workers, yet these basic qualities are absent from AI solutions unless we add them.

In order to implement an AI solution that can successfully interact independently with humans, it's going to take process experts and researchers from a multitude of disciplines to think through and configure human traits into AI solutions. It's going to take a lot of soul searching to identify and codify how we want AI systems to react and respond. We will need to monitor for unintended consequences that will arise as perfectly logical systems produce results that are unfair, unjust and don't respect human rights. It's up to us to create our future, and our future will be an exaggerated version of ourselves today. This process, however, will teach us a great deal more about ourselves and our own humanity.

Read more from the Center for Digital Intelligence here:
  1. 7 Imperatives for Thriving During Digital Transformation
  2. Speed as a Competitive Advantage in Digital Transformation
  3. Culture as a Competitive Advantage in Digital Transformation
  4. Digital Technologies and the Compression of both Time and Distance
  5. Patterns, Platforms and Automation
  6. Making the Hard Decisions in Digital Transformation
  7. Center for Digital Intelligence Interviews: Hitachi's Rob Tiffany on Industrial IoT 
  8. Digital Transformation and the New Rules for Start-Ups
  9. Digital Transformation and Leadership Development
  10. Digital Transformation and Competitive Decision-Making
  11. Combinatorial Nature of Digital Technologies and Legos
  12. Digital Transformation from 40,000 feet
  13. Winning in Chaos - Digital Leaders
  14. 13 Recommended Actions for Digital Transformation in Retail
  15. Mistakes in Retail Digital Transformation
  16. Winning Strategies for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  17. Digital Transformation - Mindset Differences
  18. Analyzing Retail Through Digital Lenses
  19. Digital Thinking and Beyond!
  20. Measuring the Pace of Change in the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  21. How Digital Thinking Separates Retail Leaders from Laggards
  22. To Bot, or Not to Bot
  23. Oils, Bots, AI and Clogged Arteries
  24. Artificial Intelligence Out of Doors in the Kingdom of Robots
  25. How Digital Leaders are Different
  26. The Three Tsunamis of Digital Transformation - Be Prepared!
  27. Bots, AI and the Next 40 Months
  28. You Only Have 40 Months to Digitally Transform
  29. Digital Technologies and the Greater Good
  30. Video Report: 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation
  31. Report: 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation
  32. Virtual Moves to Real in with Sensors and Digital Transformation
  33. Technology Must Disappear in 2017
  34. Merging Humans with AI and Machine Learning Systems
  35. In Defense of the Human Experience in a Digital World
  36. Profits that Kill in the Age of Digital Transformation
  37. Competing in Future Time and Digital Transformation
  38. Digital Hope and Redemption in the Digital Age
  39. Digital Transformation and the Role of Faster
  40. Digital Transformation and the Law of Thermodynamics
  41. Jettison the Heavy Baggage and Digitally Transform
  42. Digital Transformation - The Dark Side
  43. Business is Not as Usual in Digital Transformation
  44. 15 Rules for Winning in Digital Transformation
  45. The End Goal of Digital Transformation
  46. Digital Transformation and the Ignorance Penalty
  47. Surviving the Three Ages of Digital Transformation
  48. The Advantages of an Advantage in Digital Transformation
  49. From Digital to Hyper-Transformation
  50. Believers, Non-Believers and Digital Transformation
  51. Forces Driving the Digital Transformation Era
  52. Digital Transformation Requires Agility and Energy Measurement
  53. A Doctrine for Digital Transformation is Required
  54. Digital Transformation and Its Role in Mobility and Competition
  55. A Revolution in Precision Through IoT, Analytics and Mobility
  56. Competing in Digital Transformation and Mobility
  57. Ambiguity and Digital Transformation
  58. Digital Transformation and Mobility - Macro-Forces and Timing
  59. Mobile and IoT Technologies are Inside the Curve of Human Time
Kevin Benedict
President, Principal Analyst, Futurist, the Center for Digital Intelligence™
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.