First Class Humans, Supported by Second Class AI
Artificial intelligence is seen as the biggest technological innovation for the next hundred years. Indeed, it has been considered as one of the top 5 tools that humanity has ever created.
Often, the tremendousness and significance of a tool like AI tends to evoke doomsday scenarios. The common reservation stems from the age-old fear of one day being overrun by robot overlords. We have heard it said many times, most notably by the renowned Stephen Hawking, that AI “could spell the end of the human race.”
I believe otherwise. To me, AI is not there to replace humans. Instead, it can potentially enhance and humanize us even more. By taking monotonous, repetitive activities out of the way, it gives us more room to be creative. It enables us to build ingenious solutions faster, and solve problems more effectively.
Why AI is second to humans.
AI cannot exist without humans. And without human intervention, it cannot develop further. We do know that there are self-learning AIs, but they are still curated by humans. Someone still needs to “turn on the switch” in order for complex AI systems to work.
I often think of AI as a kid: It learns what we teach it. If we give it good data to learn from, it will perform well in the way we expect it to. If we are not careful about the data we use, it will become unpredictable and useless to us. Therefore, we have the capability to shape it, to improve it, and to point it to the right direction.
That being said, the care and caution we put into training AI is not only with the AI itself. Beyond the code, the algorithms, the neural networks that make up machine learning models – the training data will influence the AI’s outcomes. The decision on what to train for falls mainly on human hands. It is us who determine what the AI learns. Ultimately, it is also us who decide if the result is beneficial to ourselves.
“Despite all the hype and excitement about AI, it’s still extremely limited today relative to what human intelligence is."
- Andrew Ng, Global Leader in AI and Machine Learning
AI is meant to enhance human activity and human ingenuity. As a tool, it is neither good nor bad in itself. If we use it the right way, it can definitely make our lives easier and help us work smarter in this complex environment. And it is our responsibility to use this tool wisely.
AI will empower first class innovators.
Humans and AI are meant to augment each other in building a world with more variety, more connectedness, more dynamism, more complexity, and more adaptability.
As AI tools become more sophisticated and efficient, people also need to move along with that change. And encouraging innovation is not enough. It is very important to invest in the next generation by providing them with insightful reliable platforms that let them create value.
Moreover, as technology gets more ingrained in our education and lifestyle, creative techniques must be integrated into early training in order for kids to develop innovation and adapt at a young age. When a child’s imagination is in its developmental stage, it’s the perfect timing to spark the human-AI potential. Teachers are very important in preparing their mind to solve complex problems, think critically, and exercise more creativity. When a child is introduced to AI early, the likelihood of fearing AI is reduced, and they are more apt to “partner” with it in accomplishing a task or achieving a goal.
“I think about AI as a very powerful tool. What I’m most excited about is applying those tools to science and accelerating breakthroughs.”
- Demis Hassabis, Co-Founder and CEO of DeepMind
It is crucial to empower the next generation of innovators, by integrating AI at an early age as a tool to help them solve complex and nuanced problems.
It might sound funny to say that we can become first class humans boosted by second class AI. But to me, we each carry in ourselves the potential to reinvent the future – with AI as our helping hand.