How Can AI and Humans Collaborate?

05/11/2020

How Can AI and Humans Collaborate?

It’s obvious that Artificial Intelligence is becoming more and more convenient for every business, sometimes so convenient that people start questioning how long until AI will eventually replace them in the workforce.

However, those fears are for the ones who don’t really understand the core value of AI and its applications. Artificial intelligence is radically altering how work gets done and who does it, with the ultimate purpose of collaborating with humans to augment their capabilities, not replace them. 

The right question to ponder here should be: How can AI and humans collaborate?

 

Misconceptions

Many tend to think AI as an alternative to humans in the workplace and even fear that AI-powered machines will eventually make human beings completely unnecessary, turning hundreds of thousands, even millions, of people jobless. But this is far from reality. 

Yes, AI will soon replace jobs involving repetitive or basic problem-solving tasks, as it can go beyond current human capacity. However, a new era of possibilities for new job opportunities will also be created, especially roles that require the skillset to implement new systems as this is quickly becoming a new challenge for many businesses when applying AI in their organisation.

According to a study carried out by ServiceNow, 94% of executives agreed that the demand for jobs that require soft skills including communication, collaboration and creative problem-solving will increase when repetitive tasks are handled by automation. In addition, a MIT Sloan Management Review blog article labelled those new jobs as trainers, explainers, and sustainers, humans in these roles will complement the tasks performed by cognitive technology, ensuring that the work of machines is both effective and responsible. 

In fact, most business processes, including ones that have been automated by AI, are human-involved one way or another. It is believed that companies achieve the most significant performance improvements when humans and machines work together, as they compliment each other extremely well resulting in productivity if done correctly. That will lead us to the term “collaborative intelligence”, where humans and AI integrate.

Benefits of collaborative intelligence

Collaboration is one of the basic principles for the sustainability and positive evolution of any organisation. Collaborative intelligence is a system where humans and AI work together to actively enhance each other’s complementary strengths: 

  • Human talent-based functions: leadership, teamwork, creativity, improvisation and other social skills.
  • AI-driven functions: speed, scalability, and quantitative capabilities.

The tangible benefits of collaborative intelligence can be broken down into 5 categories: transparency, resources, productivity, accuracy and possibility.

Transparency, with the help of collaborative intelligence, has improved greatly thanks to humans’ involvement with AI models and systems. Each step that incorporates human interaction demands the system be designed to be understood by humans to take the next action, and that there be some human agency in determining the critical steps.  Now, humans and AI can undertake the task alongside one another, which makes miscommunication harder to happen. 

Data resources are reduced dramatically due to human integration as AI isn’t in charge of the whole process anymore. Now with human involvement in complex tasks such as risk validation or decision-making, AI just needs a minimum amount of data to work on, learn from and eventually improve upon itself.

Productivity can be even higher than a fully automated solution as AI models can handle not only repetitive, manual tasks but also anomalous tasks after they have been taught, trained and fed with anomalous case’s data by human touch.

Regarding accuracy, humans now can double check for errors or cases in which AI models don’t have high enough confidence, resulting in a higher accuracy rate.

 How AI and humans can collaborate

Human-in-the-loop (HITL) is a process that leverages both human and machine intelligence to create machine learning models. Harvard Business Review says humans need to do three important things for machines: “They must train machines to perform certain tasks; explain the outcomes of those tasks, especially when the results are counterintuitive or controversial; and sustain the responsible use of machines.”

With human-in-the-loop, no single task will be entirely completed by a machine or a human working on their own; instead, every task will have a human and machine working together with shared responsibilities. Below are some suggestions on how AI and humans can collaborate: 

  • Build up an effective framework in which both AI and humans can interact and collaborate to solve business use cases.
  • Reimagine business processes to motivate employees to develop the skills they need to effectively collaborate with machines.
  • Change the way your team talks about machine-human collaboration. 
  • Develop an automation center based on long-term business strategy with the optimisation of ROI.

Want to learn more about a framework in which AI and Humans can collaborate? Get in touch for a free consultation and discover how your business process can be transformed with the latest cutting-edge technology.