Are we becoming too artificially intelligent?
Updated: Jun 1
This question must raise many points of view and is foundational to the career coaching approach we adopt when conducting 1-2-1 sessions with our MBA students.
A major TV network asked the question Can computers think? And this prompts the debate what do we mean by ‘think’? In the human context it incorporates emotion, mood, bias, intelligence, experience, attitude and personality. All this conglomeration of attributes cannot be replicated by a software programme.
An AI programme does what we tell it to do. It can replicate and supersede our deductive processes and we can programme it to process many complicated permutations which we as humans may be unable to deduce. We can programme AI to incorporate soft experiences computations. For example, we can ask the programme to recommend the colour which appears dominant 70% of the time.
Technology is now at the centre stage of our lives and growing exponentially. Does it then degrade our thinking process and construct or does it offer more intellectual challenge? Is it a friend or foe?
Regent Coaching now embraces this phenomenon and adapts their career coaching style to focus on the current job environment whereby the task to be done supersedes the focus on the people doing it. This is a subtle gear shift in terms of the dominant work skills requirement. Great communication skills in terms of persuasion are now substituted for great communication skills in terms of analytics.
If we look back further at the friend criteria we observe huge advances in curative medicine and robotic engineering. Data mining has put mitochondria centre stage and its role in cellular respiration. The cynic might substitute mitochondria for hypochondria and think we are allowing AI too much space and credibility. Certainly, it needs managing. We can remember when sophisticated algorithms made false assumptions on share predictions and the tech had to be switched off for a time.
When I am making a new journey, I now focus on the destination and let the satnav focus on the journey. And my journeys by plane, ferry or train are all computer technology dependent.
Are we becoming too artificially intelligent? I don’t think we are. On the whole we are managing, integrating and capitalizing on the advantages of AI in our lives. We should see the growth of tech as a positive facilitator.
When AI begins harnessing data for malicious intent then we will be compelled to impose ethical controls similar to the current challenge we are experiencing with the excesses of multimedia.
AI can perform amazing and yet to be conceived tasks. It can directly and indirectly enhance the quality of our daily lives. However, we must not over inflate its attributes and process. However amazing the outcome, we must always remember it is a programable piece of software. It does what we tell it to do. We are still its boss.