In recent years, the impact of Artificial Intelligence has grown more and more, changing the everyday lives of each of us. As we are guided by AI-based tools in practically every field, from health to shopping, the expression ‘augmented intelligence’ is gaining ground precisely to indicate the fact that human intelligence is ‘extended’ by these technologies.
If Artificial Intelligence is the set of mathematical, computer and statistical disciplines that enables tasks once thought to be exclusively human, addressing problems that are solved by humans through intelligence. In this context, the algorithm is recognised as having its own autonomy: once trained, the system voluntarily initiates an action in its environment and pursues goals without interacting with the human agent.
In contrast, Augmented Intelligence integrates and supports human thinking, analysis and planning, but keeps the intention of a human actor at the centre of the human-machine interaction.
Augmented intelligence in communication
Certainly, being able to communicate clearly and at the right time is crucial to a company’s success. Analysing biometric data and suggesting a doctor’s visit, analysing the progress of a project and understanding when it is useful to suggest an alignment because discordant data is being fed into the system. New tools can do this, provided they are properly fed. Algorithms only work with supporting data and continuous updating. These aspects lead to another important piece: decision support. Thanks to the evolution of technology, the tool does not just say ‘a meeting needs to be arranged’, but also suggests what meeting, between whom and with what objective. Or it does not just say ‘do a check-up’, but also what the problem might be (although there is still some work to be done on this point).
Augmented intelligence for marketing
In this area, thanks to AI, the marketer can be suggested actions to take in order to increase conversions, or provided with predictive analytical data to enable him/her to make data-driven decisions and identify actions that can support the company in reaching business goals faster with the support of marketing actions.
Multidisciplinary augmented intelligence
Often the different business areas, especially in Italian SMEs, are conceived as watertight compartments. Having a repository on which shared algorithms are applied helps companies to truly work as an ecosystem, with interrelated and connected functions, so that decisions are made in synergy and to support multiple activities, increasing the value of the data itself.
Augmented intelligence, human-computer interaction
Synergy is the winning way. Augmented intelligence is capable of bringing high added value, but it is necessary to remember that these algorithms have no consciousness of what they are analysing, they merely analyse data according to precise indications given by the code. It is the human being who must then understand how to analyse the output obtained from the analysis and use it in the right way. This is precisely the primary trend: the understanding of the functionality of artificial intelligence and the correct use of the results as decision support tools and not as ‘oracles’. It takes awareness on the part of people of the real potential and possibilities of the tool, to use it without ‘abuse’, but in the right way. This is the crucial step, the most important trend if we want to call it that, in the coming period.
The unsatisfactory results of some AI-based projects teach us how it is necessary to invest in user education before investing in technology. It is necessary for AI users to become aware that they must critically evaluate the results of analyses and that algorithms must always be fed with new, correct data. Also feedback are crucial in order to improve results.
As you may have noticed from the last point, algorithms, possibilities and domains will always evolve, but humans will inevitably remain central to this process. The most relevant but still underestimated and considered trend is precisely this: the awareness of all of us towards the tool, to ensure its profitable and responsible use at the same time.