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Augmented Intelligence: 3 Things You Should Know

When it comes to the future of technology, it’s clear that artificial intelligence (AI) is the next frontier. Major tech companies have begun creating AI-driven technologies and capabilities, and they’ve started to think about AI in an entirely new way. Rather than viewing AI with the goal of replacing and surpassing human intelligence, experts in the field and 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).

What is Augmented Intelligence?

Augmented intelligence is an alternative conceptualization of artificial intelligence that focuses on AI’s assistive role, emphasizing the fact that cognitive technology is designed to enhance human intelligence rather than replace it. Augmented, which means “to improve,” reinforces the role human intelligence plays when using machine learning and deep learning algorithms to discover relationships and solve problems.

What is the difference between artificial and augmented intelligence?

We’ve talked a lot about artificial intelligence on this blog in the past and how deep machine learning can operate without human intelligence. But augmented intelligence (AI), also referred to as intelligence augmentation (IA), is a complement—not a replacement—to human intelligence. It’s about helping humans become faster and smarter at the tasks they’re performing.

Augmented intelligence is just a different perspective on technological advances, especially those that allow computers and software to participate in tasks that were thought to be exclusive to humans.

Three Things You Need To Know About Augmented Intelligence

  1. AI will Level Up Innovation: Since its inception, artificial intelligence has evolved from an arcane academic field into a powerful driver of social and economic change. The common assumption is that AI will replace human labor altogether, such as the advent of autonomous vehicles and workplace automation. But this discounts the importance of human creativity. Beyond automation, there is also a complementary evolution in the processes of human design and innovation that build on computing technologies. Across a host of industries—medicine, engineering, entertainment, transportation, and design, AI and machine learning continue to introduce new innovations that augment human performance.
  2. Creativity will Flourish: Our current era is often dubbed the “information age” or “knowledge economy.” But a more accurate characterization of the current era is a Creative Age –since creativity is the defining principle of our era. Even as computers automate routine labor, they will also amplify work that requires problem-solving and social collaboration. In this Creative Age, intrinsic passion is becoming pivotal to skilled professions so that economic needs (in the traditional sense) are becoming increasingly dependent on creativity and entrepreneurial innovation.
  3. Education will be Redesigned: As we move from the Information Age into the Creative Age, demand is growing for a profound transformation in learning at all levels of formal education (i.e., K-12, higher education, and workforce development). As a new generation of inventors is introducing technological innovation, schools will need to adapt accordingly. A key challenge for educators going forward is understanding the critical importance of human creativity in the context of AI and augmented intelligence. AI ensures that the nature of work is changing, meaning that educational strategies will need to deliberately pair creativity with technology in order to ensure that students value technology as well as amplifying their own talents and capacities.