Artificial intelligence may be real, but that doesn’t mean every claim about its future potential is true. The lack of a regulatory body for the growing AI startup ecosystem means there is no way to know if companies are making verifiable statements about what their services can or cannot provide.
One of these key statements that cannot be verified: ‘AI will effectively replace human intelligence.’ Not the case, at least for now. AI’s current iteration works best as a performance-enhancing tool, maximizing efficiency and filling in blanks in human ability.
In this way, artificial intelligence can be best described as “augmented intelligence.” Modern AI is best suited for tasks predicated on data analysis. It can automate repetitive tasks, using data labelled by humans to predict future outcomes; it can also enhance human decision-making after analyzing information using human-created algorithms. But it is years away from replacing humans and their abilities. Instead, it leverages their strengths and minimizes their weaknesses.
Most internet users have encountered a chatbot of some sort, likely in a customer service setting. Chatbots are often transparent, unable to replicate truly human interaction. This is natural, as emotional intelligence is difficult to teach machines – human qualities like empathy, morality, and intuition are difficult to quantify as data. But AI can be used to augment customer service in different ways. A company called RapportBoost is using AI to empower customer service representatives by analyzing conversation variables, testing them in different scenarios, and then reverse-engineering conversations to give recommendations to live customer service agents. This advice can then be used in training and applied case-by-case, maximized by human ability.
Other companies are using augmented intelligence to tackle a variety of problems. CognitiveScale is an Austin, Texas-based software developer who bills their Cognitive Cloud software offerings as “a new class of big data interpretation and machine learning systems, which accelerate decision making, enhance customer engagement and improve employee productivity.” The service analyzes huge amounts of data from various sources (including images, texts, videos, and more), which users can evaluate and use to act.
Machine learning needs data to function, and its predictive abilities go far beyond humans. Humans, however, can look beyond data for insights. This is augmented intelligence in a nutshell – machine and human, each with unique attributes and strengths, working together towards a single purpose. A day may come where machines can replace humans but until it does, augmented, not artificial, intelligence can most accurately describe the technology we see in action.
Interested in How Artificial Intelligence Can “Augment” the Way You Invest?
Hedge funds and large institutional investors today are using Artificial Intelligence to analyze large data sets for investment opportunities, and they have also unleashed AI on charts to discover patterns and trends. Not only can the AI scan thousands of individual securities and cryptocurrencies for patterns and trends, and it generates trade ideas based on what it finds. In this sense, hedge funds have had a distinct advantage over retail investors for some time now.
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