Centaur Q+A 🚲

I really like how this Steve Job quote illustrates the centaur concept. ➕

Steve Jobs once called the computer a bicycle for the mind. Note the metaphor of a bicycle, instead of a something like a car — a bicycle lets you go faster than the human body ever can, and yet, unlike the car, the bicycle is human-powered. (Also, the bicycle is healthier for you.) The strength of metal, with a human at its heart. A collaboration — a centaur.

Human + machine is better than either individually. And weak combos with good processes are better than strong combos with bad processes. So the glue is the key. Amplifying the strengths of both and minimizing the weaknesses. ⚖️

So how do we divide the work? 🤔

AIs are best at choosing answers. Humans are best at choosing questions.

The key concept for the future of AI, IA, and centaurs is symbiosis, because: 🤝

Symbiosis shows us you can have fruitful collaborations even if you have different skills, or different goals, or are even different species. Symbiosis shows us that the world often isn’t zero-sum

Src: MIT

Centaurs Wear Ties 👔

I’m firmly in the Augmented Intelligence camp when it comes to where I think the real benefits lie when it comes to AI. Turns out the biggest benefit for business comes from pairing humans with machines, not replacing. 👤+🤖=❤️

In our research involving 1,500 companies, we found that firms achieve the most significant performance improvements when humans and machines work together.

Surprise, surprise, humans and machines are good at different things! Shocker, I know. But that means that, if done properly, they can be combined to achieve better results than either could individually. The dream and promise of centaurs. 🙌

According to this study there are 3 rolls humans need to fill with their machine counterparts 👤:

They must train machines to perform certain tasks; explain the outcomes of those tasks, especially when the results are counterintuitive or controversial; and sustain the responsible use of machines (by, for example, preventing robots from harming humans).

And in a nice but of symmetry, the rule of threes applies to the machines as well 🤖:

They can amplify our cognitive strengths; interact with customers and employees to free us for higher-level tasks; and embody human skills to extend our physical capabilities.

That second one, interact, is the hot button topic right now, as evidenced by Google’s Duplex and the reaction it garnered. 🖲
Src: Harvard Business Review

The Revolution Hasn’t Happened Yet. ✊ No Word on if it will be Televised. 📺

Michael does a great job breaking down the difference between the meaning of AI and what is currently being billed as AI (mostly ML). And setting the stage for what could be if AI became one avenue to explore. 🔮

let us conceive broadly of a discipline of “Intelligent Infrastructure” (II), whereby a web of computation, data and physical entities exists that makes human environments more supportive, interesting and safe.

I wholeheartedly agree with his sentiments about focusing on “human-imitative AI” being insufficient at best and distracting at worst. I’ll say it again, this desire to recreate human thinking in silicon seems more driven by ego than by utility. Think about it, would you want self-driving cars to imitate humans? 😱

We need to realize that the current public dialog on AI — which focuses on a narrow subset of industry and a narrow subset of academia — risks blinding us to the challenges and opportunities that are presented by the full scope of AI, IA and II.

If you’re interested in AI, I would say this is a must read. 👍👍

Src: Michael I. Jordan on Medium