Augmented Intelligence: What it is and why it will be smarter than AI - Deepstash

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Making Computers Better Vs Using Them To Enhance Ourselves

Making Computers Better Vs Using Them To Enhance Ourselves

For years, writers, scientists and entrepreneurs have shown us visions of our future relationships with computers and robots.

Should we aim for total automation with the target of greater safety and higher efficiency? Or should we aspire to augmentation – using technology to enhance our abilities without replacing us?

As artificial intelligence and robotics mature enough to become integrated into everyday life, we need to start making this choice. We need to choose wisely, or we might just automate ourselves and the natural world out of existence.

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People Love Automation

People Love Automation

Humans have always been fascinated by automation. Centuries ago, mechanical creations called automatons were constructed to mimic musicians playing, birds singing, or animals moving. Much of the Industrial Revolution was premised on the idea that automation is better: fabrics could be woven faster and cheaper. Never mind the pollution or the awful working conditions – the products are so much more affordable!

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Automating Vs Assisting

Automating Vs Assisting

We can use artificial intelligence to drive our vehicles, to design products, even to compose music or make art. Artificial intelligence will soon be able to imitate our images and sounds in an almost perfect way, meaning that actors and performers can be computer-generated. Artificial intelligence can generate text in any style and content, so writing can be automated. It can understand our patterns of behaviour and influence us automatically – enabling the marketeers’ dream of encouraging us to purchase or vote in ways we otherwise might not.

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Augmented Intelligence

Augmented Intelligence

The whole philosophy of augmented intelligence is to put humans first, and technology second. However, we are currently biased towards complete automation as it pushes the frontiers. 

When we fully automate systems, we put technology first and humans second. A fully automated factory is designed to make the robots work optimally, not necessarily to be safe or comfortable for human workers.

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Pushing Automation Not Augmented Solutions That Assist

Those who favour automation are increasingly squeezing the augmented intelligence solutions out. We’ve now got the technology to do it. 

If my word processor can check spelling and grammar, why not let it reword the whole sentence? Or write the entire piece? If my car can avoid a collision, why not let it drive? If my art package can blur the background of an image, why not let it create a new background? Or a new image? If my medical software can suggest drugs, why not let it diagnose and treat me? it’s cheaper, more efficient, faster and better.

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People first, technology second

People first, technology second

People are the most flexible and adaptive part of any factory, so instead of trying to replace them with difficult-to-program and complex robots, perhaps it would make more sense to enhance the capabilities of experienced workers with robotic tools that they can control, combining the speed and efficiency of robots with the adaptability of people.

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Better Human Driving: Assisting Not Replacing

Better Human Driving: Assisting Not Replacing

Everything changes if we put people first. Instead of aiming for fully autonomous vehicles, why not aim for superhuman drivers? Technology that makes drivers better, safer, more aware and makes the task of driving more engaging?

The same artificial intelligence tech used in autonomous vehicles can be used to achieve this, providing drivers with more multisensory feedback. See the accident two miles away on a heads-up windscreen display long before your eyes could. Be alerted to invisible black ice on the road. See the cyclist dressed in black on a dark country road with no lights.

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Enhance, Not Replace

Enhance, Not Replace

Artificial intelligence can, in theory, enable us to replace all actors, singers, musicians and composers. But while this might be cheaper than paying their salaries, it’s putting the technology before the people. Wouldn’t it be better to ensure that all our art is created by artists, but that those artists have high-tech tools to help them create their works?

Don’t replace the actor or disguise her skill through post-production; give her the ability to fine-tune her image as she performs, digitally altering her appearance and sound to suit her performance.

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Amplify Human Creativity

Amplify Human Creativity

Artificial intelligence can already design for us automatically. It can do everything from creating radical new architecture from scratch, to optimising angles on wind turbine blades.

It is better to amplify designers’ creativity by using artificial intelligence to assist them with the tedious, routine and constraint-based aspects of their work so they have more time to focus on the art of designing.

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Automatic News Feeds: The Dangerous Echo-Chamber

Automatic News Feeds: The Dangerous Echo-Chamber

The misuse of some artificial intelligence methods has already caused major problems. Automated news curation has been designed to feed us more of the things we like, and sometimes prioritises messages that are more likely to cause upset, such as Facebook’s automatic policy that prioritises messages that provoked bigger reactions. These automated learning systems result in our societies polarising around certain views, leading to radicalisation and distortions in the democratic process.

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Artificial Intelligence Used Wisely

Artificial Intelligence Used Wisely

The use of augmented intelligence enables people to make these decisions in a safer and more informed manner. Instead of automated news curation, artificial intelligence can be used to present us with a balanced choice of different topics and opinions.

 if we use artificial intelligence to help provide varied and balanced online media content, then the minds and education of populations become healthy and strong.

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Tools Are Not Good Or Bad

Artificial intelligence and robots aren’t evil or inherently bad technologies, any more than were the machines of the Industrial Revolution. When misused for poorly conceived automation, often in the name of efficiency improvements, profitability, or even safety, they cause great harm. But when applied for the good of people, these new, advanced technologies have the power to make us better than we have ever been.

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No To Dumb Automation

No To Dumb Automation

Dumb automation is for the short-sighted. Augment your intelligence – use tech to make you better at what you do. The trick is to be aware that what you use will change you. So use solutions that put people first, solutions that enable you to make your own, more informed, decisions. Don’t be a victim of bad tech. Choose technologies that make you a superhuman.

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