Augmented Intelligence & IA: The New Way to Think About AI

by Shannon Vize on November 8, 2016
augmented intelligence

When it comes to the future of technology, it’s clear that artificial intelligence (AI) is the final frontier. However, as major tech companies have begun creating various AI-driven technologies and capabilities, they’ve started to think about AI in an entirely new way. Rather than viewing AI as systems with the goal of replicating and surpassing human intelligence, experts in the field and leading research companies like IBM understand AI is better represented and produced as “augmented intelligence,” since these systems will instead enhance and augment human capabilities. Or, better yet, intelligence augmentation (IA).

So, why does this letter reversal of AI to IA matter? And how does it affect the future use of robotics in the business world? Let’s take a look:

Will the Real AI Please Stand Up

The problem with thinking about AI as we’ve come to know it, under the lens of artificial intelligence, is that at its core it’s focused on replicating and surpassing human intelligence, thus operating autonomously. If successfully done, it means artificially intelligent machines would invade our lives in ways we could never imagine and entirely disrupt the workforce across all industries. It would mean job losses in the millions and potentially the end of our race.

Think that’s just all the sci-fi movies making you paranoid? It’s not. Significant tech leaders and innovators including Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk have warned against the development of true artificial intelligence and called for a ban on artificially intelligent, autonomous weapons, which are already being developed. Think about that. The three leading scientists and innovators in tech are afraid of the near future that pure AI could bring. Which is why IBM has been focused on redirecting the conversation around artificial intelligence to augmented intelligence or intelligence augmentation.

Augmented Intelligence in Business

When the conversation is changed from artificial intelligence to augmented intelligence, the possibilities for business uses expand exponentially with only a temporary disruptive effect on the workforce rather than a permanent, disastrous effect. Instead of thinking about how autonomous robots can help your business, it turns into how AI-driven technologies and tools can augment the work of your employees to increase efficiency and improve productivity.

Augmented intelligent systems have already been implemented at a large number of both large and small businesses. With everything from AI-driven marketing automation technologies to enhanced data analytics systems, it’s likely your business is already using some form of augmented intelligence technology. Businesses that have yet to adopt AI-driven tools or are slower to adopt them will be outpaced rapidly by those that do.

Additionally, while this partnership between AI technologies and people will still disrupt some jobs, it will overall present opportunities for job growth, higher productivity, and higher earnings for individuals and businesses in every industry. It will also open entirely new sectors of jobs for those specializing in augmented intelligence systems.

In Conclusion

The difference between artificial intelligence and augmented intelligence may seem inconsequential to some; it could quite literally make a world of difference when it comes to how we approach robotics in the decades to come. Innovative companies are those implementing AI-driven technologies to augment the work of their employees. It’s businesses using the technology to supplement rather than replace their employees that stand to benefit most from the further development and refinement of this technology.

Want to learn more about the future of augmented intelligence and how it will change the way your company does business? Contact Mondo today to reserve your spot on our exclusive list of business innovators for the pre-order of our upcoming guide on the future of tech, entitled “Tech Trends & Talent 2017.”


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Shannon Vize

About this author (Shannon Vize)

Shannon Vize currently works as the Content Writer for Mondo. Shannon authors a majority of the content published by Mondo, in addition to helping create and adjust the content strategy for the IT, Technology, and Digital Marketing staffing agency. She has also been published on various online platforms on subjects ranging from marketing to fashion to social issues.