Rebooting intelligence in an AI world

| 24 September 2019

Konica Minolta examines how artificial intelligence can unlock the potential to imagine, create and innovate.

Plato and Aristotle determined the key indicator of intelligence was the ability to reason and apply logic in the quest for facts.This perception shapes everything we do: how and what we teach, conduct science – our political and economic systems too.

In the continuous scramble for facts we lose sight of everything else. In particular, how everything connects in a complex and ever-changing system of interacting forces and feedback loops. By viewing intelligence through a narrow lens we have created dramatic consequences which demand more than logic to solve.  Our understanding of intelligence has divided us; we have endless categories, rules and silos, whilst we pursue states of certainty and meaningless targets. 

This backdrop – where so much has become transactional or reduced to a metric – limits the space for creativity, empathy and personal development.

AI can be a force for good, once we recognise our own flawed thinking

In this information era, we seek patterns to monetise insight and knowledge – hence we view data as the new oil. This is where artificial intelligence (AI) excels. If AI is the simulation of human intelligence by machine, we must also recognise our brains can do more than crunching numbers. However, AI is predominantly used for narrow purposes, for example predicting what you should read, buy and listen to, or how to respond to a job application.

By continuously rushing from A-to-B we don’t do enough to explore how the forces intersecting people, industry and society are radically changing how we live, learn, work and consume. There are no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approaches and there is more to life than numbers, and more to intelligence than just logic. It doesn’t mean we should discard these, but instead enrich them with social, emotional and linguistic wisdom; be creative and analytical, experiential and transactional, divergent and convergent. 

Rethinking work is a necessity for business to thrive tomorrow. By becoming buried in detail, we have neglected why we are in business – a meaning and purpose we all share. As the battle to attract and retain talent increases, we must find a solution. This requires a change in mind-set shift which looks beyond binary to discover sweet spots, and focus more on holistic solutions. For this outcome to be realised there needs to be a clear definition of the roles people and technology will play in the future. 

We are transitioning from an era of abundance to one where less is more, with greater value placed on quality, design and experiences. Technologies such as intelligent automation (IA) can help here, automating the burden of manual, repetitive tasks – and helping people do more with less. However, the growing skills gap won’t disappear as a result. The headwinds facing industry mean IA isn’t enough to save costs without investing for growth and providing the space for learning and innovation.

Long-term sustainability requires the lights to be kept on today. Agility needs stability as a counter balance. Competition and code without compassion is where we are now and in this scenario computers are cherished more than people. The smartest thing we could do right now is to take the opportunity which advancing technology presents us: to spend time reconnecting with the skills that make us unique. Only then will we be able to see that continuing to fix people in the same way we do a machine, or waste energy on what we can’t do, is a little bit dumb.

Our future depends on untapped potential being realised in all of us, but this requires more than logic and more than an algorithm to achieve.

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