The capabilities of machines and humans are different, but they work so much better together
The capabilities of machines and humans are different, but they work so much better together
A view from Dave Coplin

Trust in AI: why humans and machines are better together

Technology is now as universal as the people who use it and the proliferation of connected consumer experiences is creating more data than ever before....

Predictive models learn from how people interact with technology in order to suggest what action we should take next

Deep partnerships between humans and technology mean that machines are informing decisions we make in our daily lives already. From personalised advertising programmatically served based on the accrued understanding of what you like, to the localisation of search results, intelligent data analysis is core to our online experience today.

Predictive models learn from how people interact with technology in order to suggest what action we should take next - whether it’s informing stock levels, distribution plans, future product lines or multi-channel marketing strategies. And of course, there are communications services like virtual personal assistants – true evidence of humans and machines working in concert. This is the realm that is leading synergy between humans and machines creating, conversation as the new ‘user interface’ for creating more personal computing - informing the creation of new digital experiences that interact more naturally through bots, text, voice and video.

So the machines are intelligent, and they are learning a lot from us, but where does action come into it? The short answer: The humans choose.

Interpretation of knowledge 

A mass of intelligence is like the books that gradually gather on our shelves over the years. Just looking at them makes us feel smarter (or overwhelmed), but it’s when you take a few down off the shelf, immerse yourself in the different sources, and let them inform new ideas that can change your own way of thinking and living that the knowledge really makes a difference. And there are times when we let the answers we find in books solve things for us, but there are times where we choose to adapt and interpret the answers to make something new.

So it is with artificial intelligence. This automated intelligence will ultimately enable technology to act on our behalf, if we chose it to - completing the painful tasks such as renewing our driving license for example - freeing us to do more of the things we really care about and otherwise wouldn’t have time for. Importantly, artificial intelligence also provides people with a filter to the relevant data and empowers them to take action themselves; be that on a creative campaign based on consumer insights or in planning the round-the-world trip of a lifetime.

Experience enablers

While the capabilities of machines and the capabilities of humans are different, they work so much better together

With technology switching focus from data management into intelligent action, brands need to understand the nuances of changing consumer behaviour in the way they interact with technology and how artificial intelligence can be used to extend engagement. Brands today are an enabler of experiences.

For instance, on its 100th birthday Coca Cola celebrated with Cortana Analytics, using How-old.net – which analyses data including facial imagery to gain insights around age and gender. This technology detected individual objects in pictures, in turn identifying bottles and branding the users screen red. The campaign showcased the potential of real-time analytics and machine learning and within a week more that 380m images had been submitted to the site by 50m users worldwide.

How-old.net uses special algorithms to calculate the age of the subject in the image

Trust barriers

In order for artificial intelligence to reach its full potential, brands need to be transparent and instil trust in consumers for data sharing. Research by the British Science Association revealed a vast lack of trust in artificial intelligent machines, with fears of being ‘taken over’ by technology. This suspicion is a major barrier to close relationships forming between technology and humans – a relationship that is needed in order for artificial intelligence to work. Artificial intelligence is in fact not artificial at all, it is an astute web of intelligence surfacing the most pertinent elements at the right time for the right purpose – and enabling humans to make the choices that are right for them.

While some may think artificial intelligence is a long way from affecting their day to day, brands must get a handle on how best to utilise its superpowers before it’s too late. Action is the true measure of artificial intelligence – either taking action on our behalf because we have chosen them to do so, or informing action that we take. We’re on the cusp of a generational change in how we think about computing. While the capabilities of machines and the capabilities of humans are different, they work so much better together. The power and accuracy of AI complements the creativity and emotion of humans. Together they are more powerful than either is alone.

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