Cogito Blog

Dr. John Kane

While everyone has heard the term artificial intelligence or AI, few understand its genuine possibilities and limitations. It’s now possible to gain an understanding of the emerging term ‘augmented intelligence’ that will deliver useful insights into the facts and fiction of AI in a deeper dive of augmented intelligence vs AI.

Gaining a solid understanding of artificial intelligence and augmented intelligence shows how they differ and also compliment each other in real-world usage. AI is often seen as a replacement or substitute for human process fulfillment requiring calculated reasoning using historic or real time structured and unstructured data. Augmented intelligence, which is sometimes referred to as intelligent automation (IA), focuses on maximizing human capabilities. This approach keeps the irreplaceable human element in control and in the loop by giving feedback to actual people that enhances their decision making.

Differences and Connections in Augmented Intelligence vs AI

AI and IA can be broadly viewed as supporting improved process or interaction outcomes across countless sectors. But IA is a very focused approach that can deliver specific outcomes by centering human interactivity, observation, and empathy. This machine augmented intelligence helps people do what they do faster, more accurately, and better.

On the business side, this allows employees, management, and all stakeholders to see more results in less time. It then empowers them to make continuous improvements and realize greater business and customer experience gains from the technology. The goal of IA is to enhance what exists rather than implement a new system with far-reaching and nebulous goals that cannot justify its decision processes.

It’s easier to understand augmented intelligence vs. AI when we use the term ‘augmented human intelligence vs machine augmented intelligence.’ This approach shows the true dividing line that separates the fact and fiction of what AI can and cannot do while also dispelling fears of the rise of machines replacing humans. By starting with Alan Turing’s philosophy that ‘AI imitates how humans act, feel, speak, and decide,’ imitation becomes the operative word.

That’s a point made clear by a recent article in the Harvard Business Review titled AI Should Augment Human Intelligence, Not Replace It. The article by National University of Singapore professor David De Cremer and chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov points out the speed, accuracy, and consistent rationality of AI based machines. The argument for relegating it to support of humans is that AI lacks intuition, emotion, cultural sensitivity, and empathy, which only humans can bring.

Human Cognition is the Key to Emotionally Intelligent Technology

The complexity of the human mind and the countless factors that affect real-time decision making are nearly impossible for AI to replicate as an accurate imitation of human cognition. That’s why practical use of AI is largely relegated to repetitive tasks in closed management systems.

But with IA’s approach of using artificial intelligence to augment human intelligence, human decision making is enhanced in the lead role. This makes it possible for real-world processes to become actionable and capable of targeted and improved outcomes. When humans are in the loop and essentially in control, IA can enhance processes more than the limited repetitive tasks such as with chatbots and more advanced forms of robotic process automation.

The augmented intelligence approach to creating emotionally intelligent technology is all about enhancing human performance and interactions for improved outcomes. Taking the approach of augmented intelligence vs AI shows their deep differences while also making their deep connections clear. This is apparent in the augmented intelligence definition by Gartner, which states:

“Augmented intelligence is a design pattern for a human-centered partnership model of people and artificial intelligence (AI) working together to enhance cognitive performance, including learning, decision making and new experiences.”

Armed with a deeper dive into the AI and IA differences and connections gives us the ability to see how augmented intelligence goes far beyond AI alone in delivering improved outcomes across public and private sectors. The next installment builds on this foundation with augmented intelligence examples that provide a practical understanding of how it benefits business and customer experience in profound ways.

To learn how Cogito applies one-of-a-kind augmented intelligence tools to deliver a better call center customer experience, follow this link.