Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become one of the most controversial topics in the last decade. From just generating texts, there are now AI that can do everything from generate images or read out texts. The wave of AI evolution has spread like wildfire with virtually all big tech companies releasing proprietary AI tools. The relationship between AI and HI is bittersweet at the moment but there are indications that both are relevant to the advancement of humanity.
AI evolution in the past decade has focused on five key areas namely pre-trained models, reinforcement learning, Recurrent Neural Networks (RNN), self-learning and self-coding algorithms, and other deep learning algorithms.
Although there is a growing fascination about what AI can do, there is also a rising apprehension due to the perceived influence of AI proliferation on human intelligence (HI), particularly about the potential of AI taking over the jobs of HI.
This post will explore the interplay between AI and HI, explain why many people don’t trust AI, and highlight what humanity stands to gain when AI and HI coexist.
Table of Contents
- AI vs. Human Intelligence: Competitors or Companions?
- Enhancing Human Intelligence through AI
- AI’s Impact on Human Intelligence
- The Future of AI and HI
AI vs. Human Intelligence: Competitors or Companions?
Ask many creative workers (including writers, graphic artists, and voice artists) and they will tell you that they are in competition with AI. This is partly because AI can be continuously trained using data and can output works faster than humans. However, humans are still the ones that supply the data that AI learns from.
In other words, AIs are companions rather than competitors to human intelligence. Where human intelligence falls short like in the speedy and accurate analysis of large volumes of datasets, humans can use AIs to get the job done.
Examining the strengths and limitations of AI
Human accuracy gets slimmer as the volume of data gets larger. AI is the direct opposite. The biggest benefits of AI are found in areas where the analysis of large and complex datasets is required. AI use in such fields will help to lower the occurrence of human errors that increases with fatigue and loss of enthusiasm.
Also, AI-powered systems can work around the clock unlike human-driven systems that need long hours of breaks—and sometimes days off. In fields where the tasks are repetitive, AI can be used to automate the system to save time and conserve scarce resources.
Regardless of the seemingly overwhelming strengths of AI over human intelligence, AI-powered systems are only as good as the quality of data they were trained with. AI bias can be introduced into an AI-powered system if the systems are not trained with the right data or trained with insufficient data.
Also, unlike human-based systems where an establishment can easily get their staff to take up multiple roles, AI-based systems are usually role specific. Retraining AI is potentially more expensive compared to retraining human agents.
Analyzing tasks where AI outperforms human intelligence
Advanced AI-powered systems are capable of learning which gives them an edge over HI in certain tasks. For example, AI will outperform humans in tasks that require the processing of an enormous amount of data, speedily execution of tasks with high precision, and numeric calculations.
More tasks are likely to be automated in the coming years. Scientists have predicted that AI will outperform humans in myriads of tasks in the coming decades. This includes;
- Translating languages (by 2024)
- Transcription of audio or videos (within the same time as language translation)
- Writing high school essays (by 2026)
- Working in retail (by 2031)
- Writing bestseller novels (by 2049)
- Working as a surgeon (by 2053)
Identifying domains where human intelligence prevails over AI
According to Moravec’s paradox, intelligence is not limited to goals and problem-solving. This is where biological neural networks differ from artificial neural networks. AI lacks emotional intelligence and will likely fail to produce desired results in fields that require emotional intelligence.
Also, humans learn from myriads of sources which makes it easier for them to adapt to a change in their environment by utilizing various cognitive processes. On the other hand, AI can only adapt to the extent its programming allows. Humans will outperform AI in fields that require;
- Guidance and counseling
- Creative thinking
- Critical thinking
- Complex problem-solving
Enhancing Human Intelligence through AI
Can AI make humans smarter? The answer is yes. The dawn of AI has changed how humans approach certain tasks. For example, the automation of repetitive tasks has freed up time which is reinvested into other productive roles.
From self-driving cars to software that assists medical diagnosis and customer support chatbots, AI has helped humans to conserve their most valuable resource; time. It has also forced most organizations to think of more efficient ways of doing things.
The concept of augmented intelligence and its potential benefits
Augmented intelligence has helped to increase collaboration between humans and AI. It is a concept where humans make use of deep learning and machine learning to enhance cognitive performance. However, the last action is left for the human to take.
This model gives humans the chance to learn from machines as well as allows them to scrutinize AI’s output to make sure it conforms with the expected outcome.
Examples of AI-human collaborations in various industries
In reality, machine-human collaborations have been ongoing in various industries (if you consider the relationship between a driver and a car as one). However, we are entering a new age of AI-human collaboration that focuses on generative AI such as Midjourney and GPT-4. Some examples of successful AI-human collaborations include;
Ubisoft Ghostwriter tool that generates NPC dialogue to ease the burden of writers
The development of an AI-powered system by the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) that assists radiologists in mammogram analysis
In 2018, an AI-generated painting of Edmond de Belamy’s portrait was sold for $432,500 at Christie’s
Journalists and writers make use of AI-powered tools like Hemingway and Grammarly to check their reports for errors and make sure the tone is right for the target audience.
Walmart uses AI to predict a surge in demand to ensure they don’t run out of stock
Ethical considerations and potential challenges of AI integration with HI
While AI has a lot of potential, it is still prone to errors that may be introduced during training as a result of insufficient data or data bias. Also, there are ethical issues to AI use including piracy. There is a growing call for AI tool manufacturers to compensate creators whose works are used by AI tools.
Lastly, there is a growing concern about accountability—considering the fact that bad actors can use AI-generated content to spread false news. AI tool makers are now exploring ways of watermarking AI-generated content to counter misinformation.
AI’s Impact on Human Intelligence
AI has had both positive and negative impacts on human intelligence. On the bright side, it has helped to reduce stress, monotony, fatigue, and loss of interest that comes from doing repetitive tasks. It has also helped to improve work-life balance among workers. However, other impacts are not so pleasing.
The influence of AI on human creativity and innovation: overdependence on AI is increasing mental laziness and loss of creativity with most creators now looking for a quick-fix
Changes in job markets and workforce dynamics due to AI advancements: with organizations handing off repetitive tasks to AI, there is a reduced need for human agents leading to a decrease in employment
Societal implications of AI replacing certain human tasks: an increase in unemployment can lead to revolt and unrest and further heighten technophobia.
The Future of AI and HI
The idea that one day AI will dominate human intelligence is highly unlikely. However, the future is tilted more toward hybrid intelligence that will allow humans to be in charge of important tech-assisted decision-making processes.
However, it is important to make sure that AI developers prioritize transparency and user control in their systems. Features such as privacy settings adjustments and the option of human override should be considered for future hybrid AI-HI systems to increase trust.
We highlighted the similarities and differences between human intelligence and artificial intelligence as well as how they can collaborate for a better outcome. The benefit of AI is most evident in the analysis of large datasets without error and the performance of repetitive tasks without fatigue.
Nevertheless, AI lacks emotion which remains the superpower of humans—at least for now. Although AI has helped humans enormously in various ways, it should still be cautiously used because it can lead to the erosion of creativity in human intelligence.