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The best businesses use Augmented Intelligence, not Artificial

Published 14 Jun 2019 by Chris Glover, CANDDi
Read this in about 3 minutes

Artificial Intelligence is sexy.

And not just because it instantly makes you think of The Terminator, either — though none of us can deny that plays a part. The simple fact is, the idea of machines exceeding our human ability to compute information is exciting; especially in a business environment where greater efficiency means more profit.

As a result of these connotations, A.I. is a term that’s thrown about a lot in tech businesses.

That’s why it’s important to always reassess our goals and ask ourselves: is a solely A.I. solution really what this problem needs?

The best businesses use Augmented Intelligence, not Artificial

What are the limitations of Artificial Intelligence?

A.I. is great at ingesting huge quantities of raw data, spotting correlations and patterns, and then spitting it out in the form of usable, useful information.

This is all brilliant — and we’ve spoken before about how A.I. is becoming increasingly useful for salespeople. But we’ve yet to properly discuss its limitations.

We should probably start with the first issue, which is that most uses of the words ‘artificial intelligence’ don’t really describe true artificial intelligence at all.

You see, since ‘intelligence’ denotes the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills in the very human sense, the application of computers to sift through massive amounts of data that we see is still lightyears away intelligence by this definition.

But even in this particular application of A.I., human guidance and intervention is needed to extract true value.

So what about Augmented Intelligence?

Move over A.I., here comes A.I.!

Hang on. That didn’t really work, did it? I’m starting to see why augmented intelligence is often referred to instead as intelligence augmentation, or amplification…

Whatever you choose to call it, this approach aims not to replace human cognitive functions, but to leverage them to greater effect.

With augmented intelligence, humans remain at the center of the decision-making process. And crucially, the massive data-processing power of machines is used to supplement and support them.

So while humans can’t come close to the ability of computers to process data, it’s important to move away from the desire to replace flesh-and-blood resources entirely in a bid for ultimate efficiency.

This is because artificial intelligence lacks the inherent ability to know good from bad; useful from useless. We humans must review the machine’s processes, look for patterns in usability, and ultimately build the rules by which they work.

How does CANDDi use Augmented Intelligence?

An example of how CANDDi uses this approach to really drive results for our users is in our best-in-class IP Lookup.

Where other visitor tracking tools tend to offer only a static IP lookup, CANDDi is able to track dynamic IP addresses, too.

When CANDDi finds trace information of an IP address, our bots scour the internet to resolve the host name, and eventually the company that is registered to this IP address. In fact, these bots are constantly scraping the internet for actionable data about IP addresses in order to keep our database current.

The output is a detailed company profile of the visitors who reach your website, sure, but this process is constantly monitored and improved by our charming team of humans.

These humans (or “people”, as they constantly remind me to call them) spot mistakes in this IP lookup process. They write new rules to correct them, and generally ensure that the computer-generated information we provide to our clients is not just accurate but valuable to their business.

So while augmented intelligence may lack the exciting Sci-Fi connotations of its artificial counterpart, the question of real-world business application is an important one to keep in mind.

For currently, the technology simply isn’t there to replace most business functions with solutions that rely solely on A.I. Rather, the true value of these computing tools arises when their massive capability for data analysis gives humans the insight to make better decisions.

Plus, augmented reality leads to cyborgs — and cyborgs are just as cool as The Terminator.

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