Everyone is talking about artificial intelligence (e.g. machine learning). Whether in medical technology, marketing or mechanical engineering – the industries in which AI is used are diverse. Above all, the ability to objectively analyze huge amounts of data within the shortest possible time and to recognize patterns in it, is a technology ahead of mankind. As a result, a large number of workers are already being replaced by intelligent machines. The question that inevitably arises is: What role does man still play when AI is superior to him in supposedly decisive matters?
The human being as a model
If you deal with artificial intelligence, you will be overwhelmed by various concepts. The question, what exactly AI is, however, often remains unanswered. With regard to the topic AI vs. human being this is of special importance. Because one thing inevitably appears in the definitions of AI: Intelligent human behavior is imitated by artificial intelligence. Machines and systems that manage this are called artificial intelligence. So if AI is more powerful, but humans are its role model, the question of the roles of both parties arises again. What makes the respective systems?
View through the data jungle
Within companies, two things in particular are taken into account when making decisions: facts and figures. Decision-makers trust that they will be provided with reliable information on the basis of which the next action can be taken. However, the decision parameters are now becoming more and more diverse and the data from which relevant information is to be extracted is becoming increasingly complex. This means that it is costly and time-consuming to break down this data into the information relevant for decision-making and make it usable. This is where AI can help. AI is able to analyze large amounts of data, which are initially difficult for humans to grasp, in a very short time and recognize patterns in them. However, humans play a decisive role in two respects here as well: on the one hand, they must ask the right questions, which the AI answers, and on the other hand, they must interpret the information received and make a decision.
Can artificial intelligence show new ways?
The question of whether AI can completely replace humans in the future is thus almost superfluous, even though AI has already taken over the tasks of humans in some areas. However, these are areas in which no interpretative skills are required. Work processes that merely involve the execution of commands can already be automated without further ado. However, this is nothing new. It becomes interesting where personal contact, individual expertise or dynamic action is important. These areas are much more difficult to grasp by artificial intelligence, so that humans remain irreplaceable at present. The interpretation of information is the decisive factor here. Humans can interpret new information quickly and thus react creatively and quickly to new situations. Even the consideration of a new direction of travel in order to reach the goal in spite of arising problems is reserved to humans.
The essential difference here is that AI always follows a predetermined pattern, the previously programmed algorithm, so that it always reaches the same conclusions. Artificial intelligence thus follows a plan, so to speak, which does not allow any conclusion that does not logically correspond to this plan. This is positive on the one hand, because the decision is thus made objectively and is therefore free of subjective influences, as is the case with human decision making. On the other hand this prevents that an unusual solution is found, which is however extremely important to push a new development or to find new ways to solve a problem. Although humans are less good at examining enormous amounts of data in detail for certain parameters, they manage to keep an eye on the big picture. Thus, a goal can also be achieved with the help of solutions that were not foreseen in the original plan. In contrast, AI always uses a limited amount of data, the analysis of which is predetermined by the programmed algorithm and forms the basis of the result as the object of investigation. This prevents AI from having a “flash of inspiration” or producing a disruptive technology. This is still only possible for humans.
Creativity and flexibility make the difference
It can be said that AI works systematically and efficiently and that people are good at acting flexibly and creatively. He manages to quickly incorporate new information into the solution finding process. Especially interpersonal intelligence benefits the human being. Flexibility, creativity and interpersonal intelligence are especially important in industries that require high expertise and personal communication. In market research, for example, the need for human expertise is particularly high. Companies that want to open up new, largely unexplored business areas depend on human expertise. At the same time, there is usually too little data available to feed into artificial intelligence. In this case it is therefore not possible for an AI to provide a reliable result at all. It should be noted that the more complex and specialized the subject matter, the more difficult it is to replace humans with AI.
AI vs. human? AI & Human!
The eternal question whether humans will become obsolete in the future due to AI can be clearly answered in the negative. On the one hand, it takes humans to program AI and “ask the right questions”. And on the other hand, the strengths of the human being lie exactly where the weaknesses of AI lie – and vice versa. An interaction of both parties is most effective in order to achieve optimal success. The AI’s performance saves a lot of time and money. Personal communication, individual expertise and a general overview of a topic create trust and enable meaningful action in new, unknown situations. A combination of the AI’s objectivity and the subjectivity of the human being, which allows him to break rules from time to time, which ultimately leads to disruptive developments, is the right approach if extraordinary success is to be guaranteed. AI and humans should not be seen as opponents, but rather as mutually supporting parties, in order to be able to use their respective strengths in a goal-oriented way.