Augmented Intelligence is more intelligent than Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence is the latest buzzphrase which has sparked debates in contact centers around the world. However, it is safe to say that true artificial intelligence has not even been created yet despite the apparent sophistication of many chatbot apps and digital assistants. Most experts define artificial intelligence as technology with the capability of thinking of itself and making decisions based on its own ideas. It’s going to be years before this becomes a reality, if it actually does (as some experts argue). More philosophically, why would we want computers not to require guidance and input from time to time where the situation is new or uncertain? Particularly when dealing directly with customers as contact centers do.
What we should be using and aiming towards is Augmented Intelligence, that is, man plus machine (rather than man versus machine). The definition of this is inherently vague but essentially it is where software supports human decision-making and actions, and when it carries out repetitive or known tasks but defers to a human for more complex or unique ones. Unless one is familiar with the state-of-the-art of the technology, it is easy to believe the hype. The reality though is that even the most sophisticated AI applications ironically require armies of data scientists to develop and maintain them. For many, the Holy Grail in Augmented Intelligence is an application that is trained and guided by a non-data scientist, in particular so that the front-line personnel in the contact centre are not directly doing all the tasks, but they are guiding the bots which help them.