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The future of AI is humans + machines

Rob Enderle | Dec. 12, 2016
Columnist Rob Enderle writes that in the near future artificial intelligence agents will focus on all areas of business. But fear not, AI agents will not be replacing people, but making them better and far more effective.

Just the identification of a disgruntled employee early on who is likely to compromise company assets or act out physically would likely justify this kind of technology alone regardless of the improvements in employee focus, morale, and productivity. It is also interesting that some of the highly repetitive jobs that people hate doing are actually the most likely to be automated, which should help improve overall relations between companies and the people they employ.

Moving beyond HR

Ultimately, AI agents can and will be focused on all areas of business. From better qualifying sales leads and providing a framework for a sales approach uniquely designed for the prospect, to looking across a company to identify obvious waste, point out for corrective action stupid decisions, and flag unusual behavior that could be associated with either an internal or external security breach in progress. The implication, however, isn’t the replacement of employees (except for jobs that are highly repetitive and aren’t optimized for people anyway). The use of AI agents simply makes existing employees far more effective, more capable and far less likely to make mistakes.  

It is a blending of human and machine into something more, something that optimizes what people are good at, applying creativity to a problem, and ties it to what systems are good at (scanning massive amounts of data quickly and forming related recommendations) to create something more than either could ever do individually.   This is the most likely near-term best application of agents, not replacing people, but making them better and far more effective. So not people vs. machines but people + machines and that has always been the better path.


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