While We Wait For Artificial Superintelligence, Let's Make the Most of Augmented Intelligence


The increasing buzz of artificial intelligence in news and science fiction generally creates an illusion that machines might imitate and surpass human intelligence. However, that is only a type of artificial intelligence called artificial superintelligence. Artificial superintelligence is something that can be seen in sci-fi movies like Interstellar, where TARS assists the astronauts in their space mission along with having human-like conversations. However, there are other sci-fi fantasies like the one in ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron,’ where the artificial superintelligence-based antagonist decides to wipe out humanity itself. Such scenarios are concerning people and even tech leaders like Bill Gates and Elon Musk who have warned against the expansion of AI. These AI-related concerns can be quickly addressed by diverting the conversation towards augmented intelligence. Augmented intelligence is where AI research and development currently stands. Present day AI is augmented intelligence.

Augmented intelligence has displayed unmatched potential in multiple industry sectors such as healthcare, retail, finance, manufacturing and many more. Just about every organization is already deploying or planning to use augmented intelligence for various applications. The ability of augmented intelligence to improve human capabilities has proved to be fruitful in the workplace. With the help of augmented intelligence, employee performance, productivity and experience can grow at a staggering rate. Organizations must exploit augmented intelligence to its maximum potential to gain the best possible results and maintain a competitive edge.

The Dawn of Augmented Intelligence

The use of augmented intelligence can help organizations in the following ways:

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Automating Tasks in the Workplace

Augmented intelligence can effectively improve workplace productivity by automating various tasks. Routine and admin tasks require a workforce and consume a significant chunk of employee time. Such tasks can be easily automated with the help of augmented intelligence. Augmented intelligence has given rise to advanced solutions such as Robotic Process Automation, (RPA), for various industry sectors. For instance, in the healthcare sector, hospitals can deploy RPA tools for patient registration in a centralized system. Based on patient information, patients can be guided in the hospitals for their treatment. Likewise, RPA is utilized in multiple industry sectors for numerous use cases. The adoption of augmented reality-based automation will save time so employees can spend more time on mentally stimulating tasks.

Automation can be especially helpful in tasks that are prone to human error. Augmented intelligence has the potential to deliver precision in different workplace operations. For example, automating forms processing and data entry tasks in organizations can be more efficient and accurate compared to the manual approach. With the help of automated forms processing, data from the forms can be integrated with back-end enterprise systems. By leveraging automation, complex tasks can be performed with great accuracy.

Transforming Employee Roles

Augmented intelligence will transform traditional employee roles by handling certain functions and processes. For example, organizations can deploy intelligent payroll systems to automate payroll processing using employee data. However, augmented intelligence can only automate certain business processes. According to McKinsey, less than 5% of occupations can be automated with current technology. Additionally, 60% of available occupations are capable of automating around 30% of their activities. Using the above example, payroll automation can simplify one aspect of an HR executive's job. But a majority of their work will still be handled by HR executives themselves. As a result, every employee will still be required to do a major portion of their job that requires critical thinking, experience, imagination and creativity.

Employees can also take over fresh work opportunities. For this purpose, organizations can train their employees and upgrade their skills for different tasks. With this approach, employees can grow professionally and equip themselves with a wide range of skills. Such skills can help employees become an asset to their organizations. Organizations will see a shift in their work culture with the development of highly skilled professionals.

Rethinking Learning and Development

Employees need to be aware of modern technologies to successfully implement their applications for the benefit of the organizations. For this purpose, organizations have to train their employees in using such applications to solve real-world challenges. Business leaders have to revamp their corporate training and development programs to include emerging technologies. Since not every employee may be tech-savvy, personalized learning must be a priority for organizations. Organizations can collect employee data to analyze their current skill sets, qualification and experience for developing personalized learning solutions. The learning and development programs must help employees understand exactly how emerging technologies can augment their intelligence.

Organizations can develop the practice of design thinking among their employees with the help of technology-centric learning. With design thinking, employees can implement a solution-based approach for solving complex problems using available data and modern technologies. This approach will closely align with data-driven workflow solutions and business models. Business leaders need to shift the focus of learning and development from transferring fixed knowledge to developing entrepreneurial skills.

Introducing New Jobs

Many people are concerned that the rise of automation and augmented intelligence will lead to a world where machines are stealing all the jobs. However, there are multiple reports that suggest a different scenario altogether. According to reports, AI will create 113 million new jobs and displace 75 million of them. To sum up, AI will create 58 million new jobs by 2022. Hence, organizations must prepare for an influx of jobs.

The advent of augmented intelligence will also introduce new roles in the job market. Soon, several people will be doing jobs that currently don't even exist. These jobs would require a different set of skills and qualifications. Some of these jobs may include:

 Robot trainers:

Advanced robots cannot just be programmed; learning and observing human behavior is a necessity. Hence, organizations can hire skilled professionals for training robots. These professionals will specialize in understanding robot behavior and alter that behavior for better results and sustainability.

 AI business development manager:

AI business development managers will be responsible for selling AI systems in their raw computation form. Every organization requires AI, and this requirement is only going to increase in the future. Hence, AI business development managers will find such organizations and sell them advanced AI systems.

 Data detectives:

A data detective will be a professional who can analyze big data to its maximum potential. Such individuals will identify hidden data streams and find 'mysterious' data sets that can be utilized for various applications.

 High-level advisors:

High-level advisors will be skilled at gathering and analyzing data to generate data models for specific purposes. These jobs would require personnel who can communicate with customers, understand their requirements and provide professional advice using analytics.

Along with these jobs, there are various other jobs that will be introduced due to different modern technologies such as AR, big data and augmented intelligence.

The dawn of artificial superintelligence may create a utopia where robots become our loyal companions and autonomously handle all our business needs. However, considering how complicated human cognitive abilities are, it's difficult to predict how far humanity is from artificial superintelligence. Hence, augmented intelligence is the stand-in solution for now.




Naveen Joshi is Founder and CEO of Allerin, which develops engineering and technology solutions focused on optimal customer experiences. Naveen works in AI, Big Data, IoT and Blockchain. An influencer with a half a million followers, he is a highly seasoned professional with more than 20 years of comprehensive experience in customizing open source products for cost optimizations of large scale IT deployment.