human meets robot in collaborative intelligence

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Humans meet machines: a new kind of collaborative intelligence

September 18, 2018

Innovation Factory

The potential applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) have been a hot talking point for businesses in recent years, particularly when it comes to the subject of digital transformation. While it is true that AI will radically alter how organisations work, experts believe that it can’t act alone: research shows that a new kind of collaborative intelligence, where humans and machines work together, is the future of innovation.

Although there are fears that AI will ultimately replace human workers, a report by the Harvard Business Review suggests this technology will augment human capabilities rather than replace them. According to its research, businesses across different industries achieved the most significant performance improvements when humans and machines work together.

Optimising collaboration
Through collaborative intelligence, humans can actively enhance the speed, scalability and quantitative capabilities of AI, while AI can augment the leadership, teamwork, creativity and social skills of humans. The report shares 5 principles to help companies optimise this collaboration:

  1. Reimagine business processes
  2. Embrace experimentation/employee involvement
  3. Actively direct AI strategy
  4. Responsibly collect data
  5. Redesign work to incorporate AI and cultivate related employee skills

By adopting these principles and redesigning business processes to support this partnership, companies found that their AI initiatives performed better in terms of speed, cost savings, revenues or other operational measures.

Enhancing collective intelligence
Not only is AI tipped to enhance human skills in business, but some experts also believe that the technology will be a game-changer in terms of collective intelligence. In his book entitled Superminds, Thomas Malone, the founding director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, argues that computers can make groups of people even smarter, not just with AI but also through hyperconnectivity.

By “connecting humans to one another at massive scales and in rich new ways”, the author believes the impact of collaborative intelligence will be far-reaching, from business innovation strategies to politics, global issues and everyday life.

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