AI – Don’t rage against the machine, out-think it

Blog by Alec Doyle

What a time to be alive.

Our watches are now life coaches and personal trainers, our fridges know when our food is out of date and order replacements and speakers in our homes listen to our conversations and order the things we say we want.

Artificial intelligence is all around us and more and more things, from medical implants to trainers and even water bottles – are becoming ‘smart’ thanks to the Internet of Things.

But AI is also beginning to find its way into the workforce. According to the Harvard Business Review, lawyers, doctors, accountants and other mainstream professionals believe AI is useful to make menial, routine work more efficient and cost-effective – bad news for paralegals, first year associates and similar entry-level employees – but they do not believe their own more senior roles to be under threat.

In reality machine learning is closing the gap all the time, allowing machines to not only assess and process large amounts of data quickly and efficiently, but also to recognise the nuances of human speech patterns and content, thanks largely to the home-based applications of AI which are constantly learning by listening to our everyday lives.

The truth is while we do not know how far AI could go, it could realistically take over many professional roles and force them to fundamentally change within a decade.

So do we, as humans, hold any aces in this high-stakes poker game, or will Marvin the Paranoid Android call our bluff and steal all our chips?

The truth is we have one ace up our sleeve – creativity. The pure tech advocates dismiss this saying there is nothing in the professional or corporate world that truly requires creativity, empathy or that gut feeling that fuels our judgement.

Our creative minds are what allow us to recognise patterns much better than any computer, which in medical terms can mean a human eye is able to spot a cancer on a scan where a computer would miss it.

AI brings speed and accuracy, but it will be millennia before it catches up with the human brain. It does a very good impression though, enough that we need to look at how we work now to stay one step ahead.

Creativity is where we will always have the edge. It is sometimes paid lip service in the corporate world but that needs to stop. Firms that ignore the change that is happening will be left behind, as the heavy industries and manufacturers of the 1970s were as automation moved into their sector.

If you are able to bring new ideas to the table and show a flair for approaching tasks and problems from unexpected angles to deliver greater outcomes you will exploit the weakness in the machine and remain relevant.

Unconventional solutions, flexible use of digital channels, reaching out in ever more engaging ways to key audiences, delivering greater depth of insight – these will become critical skills in sectors where before they were ‘nice to have’.

AI will force individuals to stretch themselves to be ever more creative and to transform their businesses. Those who do will see their success multiply.

Here at dewinter we understand the value of creativity, as it feeds everything we do. From our bases in Liverpool and Chester we are challenged to deliver unexpected solutions for our clients every day.

We’re always happy to share our experience and help you stay one step ahead of the machine – so why not get in touch to see how we do it and keep C-3PO in check.

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