Cogito Blog

Part 2: Key Benefits of Augmented Intelligence in Business

Dr. John Kane

In part one of this series, John Kane, Distinguished Scientist, Machine Learning at Cogito, discusses the growing disillusionment around AI and the need to define its purpose. In this installment, he will dive into the benefits of IA (aka Intelligence Augmentation or Augmented Intelligence) technology, including how it can enhance employees’ abilities to be more emotionally perceptive.

Humans in the digital age still have the upper hand in bringing cognitive, strategic, empathetic, and reasoning ability to business that AI cannot match or replicate. Although this leaves humans firmly in the driver’s seat, it also shows the human limit for processing massive data sets from countless sources and in countless forms in real time. Now that augmented intelligence in business has come to the fore, it gives people the means to achieve the best business outcomes of human and machine cooperation.

By incorporating IA technologies in the workplace, companies can now harness the potential from broad data source needs for analytical decision-making in real time. This positions public and private sectors to meet digital innovation, business intelligence, and human empathy needs aided by machine support. But for businesses to fulfill that potential, they must have a defined answer to the question, how does augmented intelligence work in a changing marketplace?

The pandemic was a wake-up call for the world that exposed how historical business intelligence data can’t define the way forward in a changing business and socio-economic world. It’s never been more apparent that the way humans gather and use data to analyze, decide, and then communicate will determine the ability to succeed or fail in this new landscape.

Augmented Intelligence in Human Services

The very start of the pandemic showed how augmented intelligence applications can provide first clues to understanding major changes before they take place. This approach of augmented intelligence in human service will change our ability to make better decisions resulting in:

  • Better business, process, and human interactions
  • Sustainable top and bottom-line growth
  • Streamlined operations
  • Business agility and scalability

The convergence of business intelligence (BI), data analytics, augmented intelligence, and AI has shown how augmented intelligence companies can help humans anticipate tectonic shifts in business and the socioeconomic landscape. One such company was BlueDot, which used augmented intelligence to be the first to spot COVID-19 before The World Health Organization’s (WHO) in January 2020.

The outbreak risk software-as-a-service (SaaS) company uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML) as the basis for proactive augmented intelligence risk identification. BlueDot strategically culled data from sources across public health, travel, livestock industry health reports and population demographics among others. Their discovery played a critical role in understanding the spread of COVID-19, which is detailed in a Journal of Medical Systems Article.

This represents one of countless ways that augmented intelligence in human services uses varied data sources to support transformative analytical decision making. Every day brings more evidence of how this trend known as composable data and analytics is changing how we analyze data and act on it via augmented intelligence use cases. That puts it high on Gartner’s Data and Analytics Trends for 2021, where they explain:

“The goal of composable data and analytics is to use components from multiple data, analytics and AI solutions for a flexible, user-friendly, and usable experience that will enable leaders to connect data insights to business actions. Not only will composable data and analytics encourage collaboration and evolve the analytics capabilities of the organization, but it also increases access to analytics.”

Every day brings more examples of how we can apply augmented intelligence in human services in the real world. Each one helps us gain a better understanding of how it supports maximum human control and application of BI, machine learning, data and the uniqueness of human cognition, strategy, and empathy in communications.

Examples of Augmented Intelligence

Although it is still early in the shift from AI to augmented intelligence in business, the growing effect on every aspect of human life is clear. Augmentation will surpass all other forms of AI initiatives to account for 44 percent of the global AI-derived business value by 2030, according to Gartner.

Call centers take the lead among many augmented intelligence examples by showing how it can deliver improved agent and customer experience outcomes. Agents are understandably tired and jaded after taking/making customer calls all day long.

Their performance noticeably varies from call to call and throughout the day. They might miss subtle behaviors that they would identify and properly respond to early in a shift as the day progresses. Augmented intelligence applications can change those dynamics and outcomes to:

  • Identify certain phenomena like customer excitement/distress, and guide agents on how to respond in real time
  • Deliver coaching that helps agents activate their emotional intelligence, and show compassion and empathy at the most appropriate time
  • Provide an agent coaching and call center management safety net that reduces performance variance
  • Help agents and businesses achieve customer service, experience, and bottom-line goals, while providing agents with a more satisfying professional experience

Outside of call centers, IA technologies can have a profound impact on business, government, healthcare, finance, retail, and an unending scope of socioeconomic touch points. Its ability to help maximize human cognitive, strategic, and empathy traits elevates established processes and makes enterprise operations more efficient and accurate.

The impact of IA cannot be limited to one sector, profession, or even just the enterprise. It delivers a wide variety of solutions across sectors like healthcare, retail, finance, telecommunications, manufacturing, supply chain, transportation, and many others. As a result, augmented intelligence in business will become ubiquitous.

Augmented Intelligence in Business

There are massive amounts of data from countless sources that can hold the key to better analytics, business decisions, and streamlined processes. The challenge has always been how to effectively and accurately harness that data to gain insights that lead to positive business outcomes.

Augmented intelligence in business blends AI elements with traditional Business Intelligence. This enables the automation of data intelligence gathering, cleansing, and processing for accurate analysis and insight discovery where augmented intelligence in business:

  • Automates data identification, gathering, cleansing, analysis, and presentation
  • Simplifies the insight discovery process
  • Highlights noteworthy trends and insights without a specific user query
  • Uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) to enhance the BI reporting process by presenting insights in easy-to-understand narratives

It is now clear that enterprise AI applications cannot perform intellectual tasks in the same way as a human being. Augmented intelligence narrowly focuses on specific tasks that support humans, which is an achievable and wiser investment with a quicker ROI for any organization. This growing list of tasks will continue to expand in countless ways that deliver options and capabilities to elevate human life.

This raises questions about what human skills we will augment next? And what does this mean for human interactions in all environments? The answers to these questions are still unknown, but the current evidence is quite clear. Using human aware augmented intelligence solutions designed to help people in their work and general lives has already yielded significant value.

To learn more about how human aware augmented intelligence can transform your business, read our AI Coaching Series blog.