To business leaders, the prospect of artificial intelligence is thrilling. Robots can be faster and more efficient than workers, and though they might require some upkeep; AI tools tend to be much more affordable than human employees. Considering that AI solutions are becoming proficient at several “human” jobs, some futurist executives are looking forward to a time when most of their workforce consists of smart computers.
Yet, most AI experts claim that this future vision will never come. Instead of replacing human intelligence with artificial intelligence, workplaces will rely on a brand-new way of processing information and making decisions — called collaborative intelligence.
The Downside of Displacement
There are less than 5% of occupations we automate entirely — but around 60% of occupations could have at least 30% of their tasks automated, and that number is likely to grow over the next 15 years. Thus, a significant portion of the workforce could be facing displacement as artificial intelligence gains complexity and popularity.
Most organizations see significant benefits in replacing human workers with machines, but these benefits hide serious downsides. Though machines might be more efficient and cost less than a human employee, existing AI solutions have narrow applications and are nearly impossible to adapt to new tasks or inputs. Thus, more significant changes in business strategy might require an AI overhaul, which could be more time-consuming and more expensive than assigning new responsibilities to a human workforce.
What’s more, not every job is currently capable of being replaced by human workers. Businesses in fields like healthcare, which require manual dexterity, emotional range and creativity (traits that all extant AIs lack), will be unable to displace much of their workforce without seriously compromising the services they can provide. It is unlikely that businesses will gain access to general or super intelligence within our lifetime. Therefore, many industries that require care and imagination must find an alternative way to utilize AI.
Many experts believe that choosing to displace employees with AI machines will result in only short-term productivity gains. To harness the advantages of AI without succumbing to the disadvantages of non-human staff; businesses need to avoid displacement as much as possible and instead utilize collaborative intelligence.
What Is Collaborative Intelligence?
Collaborative intelligence is merging the strengths of a human workforce with the strengths of AI. The goal of collaborative intelligence is to design human positions to best augment the capabilities of AI tools and systems — and vice versa. In a collaborative intelligence model, human employees have three crucial roles; train intelligent machines, explain the outcomes of AI efforts and sustain the responsible use of artificial intelligence. Meanwhile, AI has three functions: to amplify cognition, extend physical capabilities, and free humans for higher-level tasks. Humans and machines come to rely on one another, and the business sees only benefits from adopting AI.
How to Integrate Collaborative Intelligence
It may not be easy to utilize collaborative intelligence, but the benefits demonstrate that the effort can be worthwhile. Business leaders need to redesign operations to make a structure where humans and machines can work together.
To begin, business leaders should identify an operational area that can be improved with AI, which might require enrolling in artificial intelligence courses to understand the current applications of AI tools better. Leaders must invite stakeholders, mainly employees, to assist in developing collaboration-focused systems and processes. Often, workers have more insight into existing challenges and obstacles; they’re in a better position to identify how AI can support their work.
Finally, organizations should cultivate a workforce with the skills to integrate with AI machines seamlessly. Learning to delegate tasks to AI can take time; learning to navigate AI interfaces and decipher the results of AI efforts. Business leaders should train their current workforce and onboard new employees who have experience collaborating with AI.
Artificial intelligence is undeniably a promising technological development for business productivity; it should not be expected to do all the work of human employees. By envisioning a future based on collaborative intelligence, businesses can radically improve productivity and quality without compromising on any aspect of their operations.