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The debate over artificial intelligence is nothing new, but it has recently intensified thanks to the viral nature of programs like the Lensa app and ChatGPT.
These programs, which can create custom artwork or write an article with the click of a button, will certainly change the nature of what it means to create. Artists, writers, educators, and anyone who engages in these works are left debating whether AI is simply a tool, or a threat to how we work.
It’s certainly a worthwhile debate. But if you’ve looked at what AI creates, it’s not replacing anyone; rather, it helps people accomplish tasks they were already doing much faster and more thoroughly than they could have done without it. Derek Thompson, staff writer for The Atlantic, summarized it well: “This is technology that does a C+ job—for now—at mimicking tasks that are very common in white-collar jobs.”
AI as Augmented Intelligence
‘AI’ may stand for artificial intelligence, but when applied in combination with human expertise, it becomes augmented intelligence.
If artificial intelligence is generating C+ work, then augmented intelligence helps boost a worker’s performance to an A+ level. In fact, AI has already been making our everyday lives easier in the same way it can make our work more efficient.
While some people might think of AI as a scary, Terminator-style technology, it’s already helping us throughout everyday life. Here are six ways we are using AI every day:
1. GPS and navigation
Gone are the days of consulting Rand McNally for directions. Chances are you’ve been using AI for this part of daily life for over a decade. GPS navigation systems use AI to determine the optimal route to your destination, and can reroute based on changes the driver makes or new information about the route. More recent evolutions include using AI to monitor traffic and weather to suggest alternative routes.
Augmented intelligence at play: AI provides accurate route information based on what it knows about what’s happening along the way; you choose whether to use that information to navigate—because Google Maps doesn’t know you’d rather take the scenic route today.
2. Digital voice assistants
“Hey Siri, how many tablespoons are in a cup?” “Hey Alexa, what’s on my schedule today?” The voice assistants built into smartphones and smart home devices can give us quick, accurate information. These programs use natural language processing to learn from each interaction.
Augmented intelligence at play: AI provides you with the best answer to your question or command; you then decide what to do with that information. (Chances are it involves asking Siri the question another way until she understands what you actually meant.)
3. Predictive text and autocorrect
Whether it’s your smartphone or your email, it seems that your devices have an idea of what you’re going to say before you do. Again, natural language processing comes into play and learns what common responses are to help you save time.
Augmented intelligence at play: Your Gmail suggests you respond to your boss’ email with, “Sounds great, thanks!” You decide whether that’s the appropriate response, or if you need to compose your own response reminding them of your upcoming vacation.
4. Social media feeds
While social media used to be a place you went to see what your friends were posting, it’s evolved to feed you a non-stop stream of content it thinks you’ll enjoy. AI is the reason why it’s so hard to close those apps and leave your personalized feed. AI is also at work blocking spam accounts and filtering posts that violate use terms.
Augmented intelligence at play: AI can suggest more of those weird cat videos with that obnoxious song because it knows you watched one the other day; you can choose to keep scrolling because that was your kid using your phone, ultimately messing up your algorithm.
5. Consumer recommendations
Just as AI can serve you content you like on social media, it is definitely serving you ideas for products to buy. Whether it’s a hyper-curated list of products you might like on Amazon or drool-worthy suggestions from your favorite food app, AI learns what you like and is ready to suggest more.
Augmented intelligence at play: AI can show you several different types of ladders at various price points for you to buy based on one search; you can decide not to order because your spouse bought one off Craiglist last week.
You can rest a little easier knowing that AI is helping your bank keep you protected from fraud. With so much potential for cybersecurity breaches, AI allows banks to monitor your account without having to have a human literally watching 24/7. AI enables mobile check deposits, monitors new log-ins, and can even flag suspicious spending
Augmented intelligence at play: AI can send an alert when it notices unusual activity on your credit card; you can evaluate the claim and decide to report fraud (or confess to spending that much on a recent shopping spree).
Why You Need AI for Insurance Claims
Just as GPS helps you navigate to your destination, AI can help you navigate to optimal claims outcomes. Your GPS isn’t doing the driving for you; you still need to make decisions about how to operate the vehicle, which route to take, and how to handle any unforeseen circumstances. (Yes, even self-driving cars still need human supervision).
Claims adjusters can use artificial intelligence to help them make better decisions about how to manage a claim; in this case, AI serves as augmented intelligence.
Below are a few of the ways AI supports claims professionals in making better-informed decisions:
- Keep track of claims with alerts and insights
- Know which claims to prioritize and take action before they become too costly
- Select the best provider for optimal claim and patient outcomes
- Identify the best attorney for claims in litigation
- Instantly scan and analyze claim documents and medical records
Give Your Staff Augmented Intelligence
The debate around AI isn’t around whether it will replace workers, but rather how the nature of work will change now that AI is enhancing worker output. AI hasn’t replaced driving a car, writing an email, or ordering a meal; instead, it’s helped the people carrying out those tasks make better-informed decisions, and in less time.
AI doesn’t have to mean artificial; when used in conjunction with human expertise, AI becomes augmented intelligence. It is one tool that helps us complete the more routine, mundane tasks in our day, allowing us to focus on work that truly requires our expertise.