Once people recognize that AI is a tool devoid of intrinsic human qualities, they will start to see its potential for positively augmenting various aspects of our everyday lives and work.

Eric J. Sydell, CEO

March 18, 2024

4 Min Read
AI on digital background
ChromaCraftMedia Group via Alamy Stock

In reality, AI is just a set of data processing tools that in previous decades would have been called statistics. This doesn’t automatically make the technology safe to use, but then, statistics, like any powerful tool, has never been risk-free. 

The problem is that we have extensively anthropomorphized AI leading people to think of it as a human-like intelligence that will soon out-human us humans. The term “artificial intelligence” suggests that electronic circuits have the potential to become smarter or better (more human?) than humans, but they do not. There is a limit to what “human” machines can do, and while that limit gets higher every day, it’s crucial for us as business users to identify and leverage synergies with these tools. 

Human beings possess an inherent power that distinguishes us from any machine. And when we harness this power in conjunction with AI, the outcome is much greater. True creativity, the kind that invents, inspires, befuddles, amuses, and even stuns us, remains the exclusive purview of humanity. Because of this we need not worry that AI will eclipse our humanity anytime soon. Delivering our creative output to the world requires agency -- the ability to not only come up with the concept, but render it into existence, integrate it, promote it -- these are inordinately complex, nuanced actions that require holistic understanding of the world and of how to get things done. The power of AI can enhance our creative output; we simply need to understand how to effectively harness and expand its abilities to do so. 

Related:Special Report: What's Next for the GenAI Market in 2024?

Transcending AI 

With the creation of more sophisticated algorithms and advancements in deep learning techniques, reinforcement and continual learning models, AI systems will continue to get better at predicting outcomes, mimicking and understanding human responses, and controlling more of the world around us. By honing particular, elevated aspects of our humanity (e.g., creativity, individual reasoning and social skills), we can embrace and exploit AI’s capabilities to improve our daily lives and business tasks in various ways. These include: 

  • Humanize AI decision making: Across industries, AI is being applied to help streamline business processes and increase decision-making. For example, with AI-powered interviewing and hiring tools, decisions can be facilitated by aligning job requirements with candidates' unique skills, empowering them to customize their applications. However, while technology plays a crucial role, human connections remain irreplaceable. Integrating our personal networking capabilities with online hiring tools continues to be a vital aspect of the recruitment process, and this should be addressed on behalf of the hiring company and the job seeker. 

  • Leverage our inner cyborg: Face it, we have been augmenting our capabilities with technology for years, and that is only accelerating now that GenAI tools are increasingly enmeshed in our business world. But there is a techno barrier to learning cutting-edge tools, and Luddites will fall behind. Take the time to understand where these powerful tools lend the most value in the business world and master them to increase your personal and business effectiveness. 

  • Personalize automated tasks: AI-driven chatbots are revolutionizing customer service by promptly assisting customers, addressing common queries, and even autonomously resolving basic issues. This not only enhances customer satisfaction but also enables human agents to tackle the more intricate inquiries. It's crucial to maintain the human component in these customer interactions, and as seamlessly as possible, for those that may experience frustration with automated tools. 

  • Enhance project work: AI significantly aids research by processing data and identifying patterns in record time, yet it lacks the capacity for critical thinking and novel insights that only human researchers can provide. This includes the essential ability to ask pertinent questions, brainstorm new experiments, and interpret results innovatively. Collaborations between human researchers and AI systems leverage both analytical capabilities and domain expertise, driving research advancements by combining efficiency with creativity. 

Related:EU AI Act Passes: How CIOs Can Prepare

Regaining Control 

Related:EU AI Act Passes: How CIOs Can Prepare

As AI advances, it edges closer to sentience and autonomy, but we must always maintain control over its agency to make it work for us, not against us. Achieving this goal will also require international cooperation and coordinated efforts to ensure that this technology remains free from bias, respects privacy rights, and avoids legal problems.  

The human drive to pursue technological advancements often surpasses concerns about potential risks, particularly considering the vast number of benefits that technologies like AI can provide. It comes down to keeping AI in check and remembering who’s boss. By understanding humanity’s strengths over AI, we will be better positioned to both benefit from and leverage AI and harness it to ensure that it does not subjugate us or our interests. 

About the Author(s)

Eric J. Sydell

CEO, Vero AI

Eric Sydell, PhD, is co-founder and CEO of Vero AI, a firm dedicated to understanding and harnessing the power of AI and all algorithms for the benefit of human society. Previously Dr. Sydell was EVP of innovation at Modern Hire (acquired by Hirevue, 2023), and one of the founding scientists of Shaker International. An expert in AI, machine and deep learning, and psychometrics and their practical application in hiring, Eric regularly writes and speaks on these topics. He received a Bachelor of Arts, in Psychology, from James Madison and Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from The University of Akron.

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