What Artificial Intelligence Can't Supplement

Jesse White

For the trailing five years in particular, I’ve been fascinated with the impact AI has had on our society. While today, AI has been highly influenced by FANG, it’s pervasive and getting rather eerie.

When it comes to AI, whether it’s Netflix’s “recommendations”, Amazon’s “other customers purchased”, the first few letters of a Google search, or self-driving cars; it is probably the most chameleon-like technology our generation has seen outside of the trojan.

Doing research with a client recently, I was alarmed to discover that error rates for image labeling, once measured at ~30% in 2010, have dropped to an error accuracy rate of less than 2.5% in 2018.

While impressive, I think we can all agree however that when AI gets it wrong, it’s really wrong. We’ve all had an interaction with a chatbot that is borderline comical, we’ve even gawked at a suggestion from an Amazon flash deal, right? We laugh it off and go about our day with little consideration about what’s behind the curtain.

However, in the world of guiding customers through a vast universe of technology who are seeking a transformational outcome, there is one thing that AI will never replace.
Sure, search engines have long supplemented the technical prowess of the human race, offering both veracity and velocity. Security automation can identify threats and intervene while organizations are sleeping, a daily occurrence in my customer base. But please folks, and as a society, let’s not underestimate the value of EI.
In my world, there is no tolerance for offering solutions to our customers that are completely misaligned.

What we can do

  • Dig deep to understand the root cause
  • Clarify the problem statement
  • Gain consensus
  • Provide clarity and simplify the remedy
This takes emotional understanding, not just deep machine learning.
Is AI having an unprecedented impact on society? Absolutely.
Should we be considering regulation to provide eventual oversight? Certainly.
But until Elon completes the interface between the machine and the cortex / limbic system, please invest in your own emotional intelligence and those of whom you lead.
Jesse White

VP, Strategic Partnerships Jesse leads the client and business development teams at Katalyst. His experience spans multiple technology platforms and infrastructure. He is skilled at helping customers solve business challenges, navigate market trends and make smarter decisions with disruptive technologies.