Have you heard about a Hong Kong company appointing a computer algorithm to its board of directors? Will AI run big companies of the future or seize other positions?
We know that technology makes our lives easier, but AI elevates it to another level. Artificial Intelligence is the term that has been exciting human minds and imaginations in different spheres starting from educational purposes and ending with accounting software solutions. Half believes that while AI will replace humans, it’s a scenario that’ll come true in the far future. Others are confident that machines will work hand in hand with humans but will never replace us.
This article will provide a closer look at why humans and intelligent machines aren’t competing against each other, but rather cooperating to create a better world.
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What Is Artificial Intelligence?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the type of intelligence demonstrated by machines. It’s the ability of a machine (computer) to imitate the processes of the human mind. However, Artificial Intelligence is different in nature from the intelligence of humans.
Multiple technologies are being developed to teach computer systems:
- Learning from experience
- Recognizing objects
- Making decisions
- Solving problems
By imitating these abilities, machines are able to perform human-like actions such as driving a vehicle or having a dialogue. It’s making our lives easier but it also has some people thinking: Will AI ever replace humans?
A short history of Artificial Intelligence
Since the Industrial Revolution people started outsourcing their repetitive hard-labor duties to working machines. A few centuries later, these machines evolved to the point where they were able to perform not only physical but also complex cognitive tasks like solving math equations, writing, and speaking.
In the late 50s, Artificial Intelligence became an academic discipline. Experts were mostly working on simulating the human brain, modeling human logic, and imitating behavior.
In the 21st century, the experimental field of AI has become dominated by highly mathematical and statistical machine learning. This method turned out to be successful throughout many industries, including the commercial software development industry.
Examples of AI in everyday life
Although Artificial Intelligence still sounds like something from a sci-fi movie, AI is already broadly utilized in our everyday life.
Think of these examples of AI that you’ve certainly heard about or even used yourself:
- Web search engine. Ever searched Google?
- Recommendation systems. The one that offers you a show to Netflix and chill.
- Understanding human speech. It’s Alexa, helping order a pizza for you.
- Self-driving cars. Driving a Tesla without actually driving.
In other words, we’re surrounded by Artificial Intelligence without paying attention to it. It’s in our smartphones, voice assistants, social media, and GPS navigators. And in these examples, you can see how AI is creating something new instead of taking something away.
Examples of AI in the customer service industry
A report from the World Economiс Forum tells that by 2025, 85 million jobs will be replaced by machines with AI, but at the same time, 97 million new jobs will open. As more AI technology is created, more people are needed to create, design, develop or operate those machines.
AI has been assisting people at work apart from automation of manual tasks, it has moved into the service industry bringing it a step closer to humans.
Customer support agents
From simple queries to complex complaint issues, customer support workers have a lot on their hands. Burnout is also high in the customer service industry, that’s why getting help for those simpler tasks from AI is a great option for people.
Customer support teams have various groups dedicated to dealing with different levels of problems and AI is perfectly suited to join the ranks. Chatboxes or prompts have become very common on various sites and can guide users and answer their questions within seconds. Those AI customer support agents can even delegate more complex tasks to real people streamlining the workflow.
AI can also review a large volume of data which can be used to predict customer behavior or anticipate future problems. That’s a very time-consuming and analytical job that AI is perfectly suited for. So apart from AI frontend customer service agents, Artificial Intelligence can provide superior backend support for the customer service industry.
From the above example, it doesn’t seem that AI will replace human jobs, but rather assist and complement what people are already doing.
How AI Is beneficial to humans
The abilities of Artificial Intelligence can be highly beneficial to humans and support their jobs and everyday life in many ways, for example:
- AI has high imitating abilities and can learn efficiently. It means that AI can identify patterns to optimize and predict relevant trends.
- AI is never tired and can keep working, processing useful data for you without breaks.
- AI’s mathematical calculations are error-proof. It can compute them in much more accurate ways than humans ever would.
- AI is perfectly suited to perform lower-level routine tasks that are repetitive and happen within a closed internal context.
AI can do a lot of tasks faster and better than humans and help with monotonous, time-consuming jobs. Artificial intelligence performs routine tasks easily and could replace us in those areas. For example, through the use of Contact Center AI there’s an opportunity to free up more time and complete our work much faster. This allows humans to focus on creative elements of their job responsibilities. Besides, AI can work continuously and error-free. But what is AI not able to do?
Abilities unique to human intelligence
Humans have many abilities that are unique to us. Here’s a short list of some of the crucial ones:
- Judging with regard to context
- Shifting between changing situations
- Considering short-term and long-term goals
So what’s uniquely human doesn’t seem to be replaceable by any machine. Now, let’s move to the reasons why we shouldn’t really worry about AI taking over the world.
5 reasons why AI won’t replace humans
The very question of whether Artificial Intelligence will ever replace humans assumes that humans and machines are interchangeable. But the truth is that we aren’t.
And here’s why:
1. AI-based machines don’t have emotional intellect.
Emotional Intellect is what we can be proud of. We can express feelings, show emotions, and take emotional information into account when making decisions.
Let’s take an example of customer service. Businesses can’t replace all their customer service with AI. People want to have personal interactions as robots aren’t able to show empathy and feelings to customers. Thus, without personal interaction, businesses can’t foster relationships.
Soft skills, like communication and building relationships, are becoming more important for jobs nowadays, and that shift is a welcomed change. Artificial Intelligence systems, on the other hand, are fast, rational, and accurate. They aren’t intuitive, empathetic, or culturally sensitive. And, these are the abilities that humans possess, and which make us so effective.
2. AI can’t be truly creative.
With more AI in the world, humans get a chance to take on increasingly creative jobs. It isn’t only about the creative sector, even in finance or coding we need to be more creative to begin and fulfill great projects.
Companies are realizing that the true potential of AI is to amplify their employees’ skills by replacing repetitive, error-prone, manual tasks with intelligent automated solutions. Employees can spend more time doing creative and higher-priority tasks.
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3. People can build relationships, while AI will never be able to do it.
Many things are built on relationships. We have to deal with and collaborate with different people. Moreover, when we’re working in teams, many of us show better results as individuals. Furthermore, according to some studies, diverse teams show better and more creative results. Diversity is our strength.
Emotional commitment and bonds with the team members are the most important part of the employees’ engagement, showing how much we care about our team, work, and company. Relationships also help us find partners and clients, as humans tend to work with people they like. But this emotional side of our behavior is unattainable to machines.
4. People can feel empathy, while AI can’t.
We can share our feelings: happiness, enjoyment, sadness, gratitude, hope, kindness, optimism, etc. Yet not only do we feel our own emotions, but we can also empathize with other people’s emotions. We can hardly imagine AI actually experiencing empathy as a human can.
A lot of jobs require establishing trust and a human-to-human connection in order for people to relax, open up, and share about themselves (social work, healthcare, or psychology being good examples). AI-based machines are capable of imitating human speech but don’t have empathy, hence, are missing that human touch.
One could argue that merely saying words that would imitate empathy is sufficient for a connection. However, we can imagine a situation where a real person feigns empathy towards us, and because we know that, we wouldn’t feel trusting and connected. The same is true for AI, it’s the lack of belief in the capacity for empathy that wouldn’t let us establish that human-like connection.
5. AI can’t think outside the box and its code.
These days, AI can’t find creative ways of solving various emerging problems because its code doesn’t allow it. Robots are programmed to work within their frame. Even for the most advanced machine learning, the input determines available data. It’s possible that someday a machine will be able to think on its own, but so far that’s not a reality we live in.
Artificial Intelligence isn’t capable of analyzing context, thinking critically through complicated scenarios, or developing complex strategies. Teams and organizations are constantly interacting with the external environment.
But AI can only process data that has been entered into its system. Unlike humans, it can’t take into consideration the influence from the outside.
Such settings require the ability to work with sudden changes and distorted information exchange while being creative in distilling a vision and strategy. This ability is powered by human intuition and becomes a critical element in daily work, especially for c-level executives.
Will artificial intelligence replace humans?
The world’s AI technology is far from the vision portrayed in popular science fiction so it is still not possible for AI to replace human intelligence.
Despite all the hype, most AI computers are designed to be very good at solving a specific problem in the context of a very particular data system. On the other side, human creativity, insight, and contextual awareness are key to making AI work. The reason for this is simple — humans will continue to deliver value that machines aren’t capable of.
So will artificial intelligence replace humans? No – at least not for a long time. We can sum up that AI’s abilities will complement us, rather than replicate us. That’s why top-tier and forward-thinking organizations start using AI to enhance organizational agility, productivity, and experiences. It’s exciting to see what future technology will hold for us.