By Greg Silverman, Aug 31, 2020
A lot has changed over the past decade, but no other transformation has been as drastic as the technological advancements developed during this time. From smartphones to machine learning, the technology landscape has moved at a rapid pace to create a lasting impact on both the consumer and business sectors.
Two advancements in technology have been of particular interest for businesses: augmented intelligence and artificial intelligence. While these terms are often used interchangeably in conversation, knowing the difference between them helps businesses optimize their operations as the world continues to become more digital.
The confusion between augmented intelligence and artificial intelligence begins because of their identical initialisms (AI). When businesses discuss utilizing AI, which intelligence are they really referring to? The distinction is critically important to understanding the technological support businesses need and if it will help them achieve their goals.
Medium's Data Driven Investor explains the difference between the two AIs best, stating that while the technology behind both tools is similar, their applications are "fundamentally different." The goal of artificial intelligence is to create a system so advanced and adaptive that it runs without humans. We have already seen AI technologies of this nature applied to automate businesses operations, especially in manufacturing. On the other hand, augmented intelligence technology does not replace people and processes but creates systems that help humans operate better.
Artificial intelligence is further broken down into two categories: narrow (ANI) and general (AGI). As its name suggests, ANI technology is able to mimic very narrow aspects of human intelligence. This is highly useful in the medical field, where ANI is often used to read X-rays and so forth. AGI, however, is broad and typically used to help understand how to achieve an overarching goal - like reaching a revenue target - that every industry could benefit from.
While artificial intelligence is often lauded as being the way of the future because of its ability to replace humans in the business world, is that a future we want to live in? Artificial intelligence seems to have no boundaries, but it's impractical to want it to replace all business operations as we know them. Augmented intelligence, and uses a combination of Gartner's Mode 1 and Mode 2 styles of work to achieve this harmony between automation technology and human intelligence.
Gartner describes Mode 1 as focused on predictability and repeatable processes (much of what artificial intelligence operates on) and Mode 2 as exploratory. In this second phase, decision-makers identify areas to optimize for uncertainty. Augmented intelligence achieves what Gartner calls a bimodal approach by using both historical data science methods and forecasting to help businesses drive strategic change.
Ultimately, augmented intelligence is enhancing or augmenting human decision making rather than replacing it. When decision-makers are presented with a plan of action based on data, they can confidently make strategic macro decisions in the microenvironment.
Augmented intelligence aids in business strategy because it helps organizations understand their Ikigai - which Forbes explained is a Japanese term that roughly translates to "reason for being." When businesses leverage augmented intelligence to enhance their teams' decision making, they undergo deep learning to identify their competitive advantage in the market and use it to capture more shares. It's not merely an investment in an organization's portfolio of technology, it's an investment in improving the company's team.
While artificial intelligence spits back answers, augmented intelligence relies on a person to execute a plan - and this difference is what's going to break the back of artificial intelligence and usher in a new wave of this human-centric technology.
An augmented intelligence system effectively assists businesses' operations, namely because of the five requirements these systems require to operate:
1. Defining a process: Before utilizing augmented intelligence, a team must sit down to define what the process will be.
2. Starting and ending with people and machines: Artificial Intelligence is a completely hands-off technology, but augmented intelligence requires humans' intuition and machine intelligence to work together to achieve an organization's goals.
3. Proactively specifying outcomes: Prior to running the technology, the team must specify what outcomes they desire.
4. Collaboration: Using augmented intelligence requires different departments to collaborate and contribute their knowledge to the process.
5. Human expertise: Sometimes, technology doesn't know best. Augmented Intelligence relies on humans to carry out actions and interact with models to ensure the machine is finding accurate information that is relevant to the desired outcomes.
Augmented intelligence allows businesses to leverage the expertise of their people and their technological capabilities to make better, faster decisions. These five requirements of AI are what sets it apart from artificial intelligence and what makes it an effective business tool.
Businesses with complex processes and questions benefit the most from augmented intelligence. While artificial intelligence is best for automating routine, repetitive, and predictable tasks, most businesses also need the capabilities augmented intelligence brings to the table to answer novel marketing and strategy questions.
This type of technology also gives businesses a competitive advantage over alternatives in the marketplace, namely because of three of its capabilities:
1. Decision tracking: Augmented Intelligence allows businesses to track the effects of their decisions throughout the customer journey.
2. Prescriptive Analytics: Instead of just predicting what might happen, Augmented intelligence helps businesses sense what might happen in the future and adjust to actions to either make it happen or avoid it. Such agile analytics allow businesses to adapt to information flows that were not detected in the early stages of forming their outcomes.
3. Strategic processes: While complex processes may never become repetitive enough to automate, augmented intelligence allows them to be optimized for businesses to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
At Concentric, our platform provides businesses with the ability to use augmented intelligence to their advantage. Manipulate data and run scenarios in minutes to enhance your decision-making abilities with augmented intelligence. Contact us today to learn more.