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Collaborative Intelligence: Leveraging Human-AI Cooperation

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What’s Collaborative Intelligence?

You probably encounter artificial intelligence (AI) every day. Social media, voice assistants (“Hi, Siri!”), spell checkers, navigation apps—even the search engine that you used to find this website are all powered by AI. “Smart” technology has virtually infinite uses. But there is one constant:

Artificial intelligence doesn’t work alone. 

AI-powered technology needs you to direct it. Without you, it’s as useless as a baseball glove without a player holding it. On the other hand, without AI, you’re less productive—like a baseball player trying to catch sans a glove. 

“Collaborative intelligence” refers to this mutually beneficial cooperation between people and artificial intelligence. 

In the workplace, this synergy allows both parties to play to their strengths. People bring qualities such as leadership, creativity, and intuition to the table, while AI supports them its processing power and data insights.

In other words, AI and people work together to compensate for each other’s blind spots. This teamwork is incredibly beneficial for productivity. A Harvard Business Review study states that “most firms achieve the most significant performance improvements when humans and machines work together.”

Three Approaches to Collaborative Intelligence

#1. Oversight

One way to harness the benefits of collaborative intelligence is by ordering AI to carry out tasks under human supervision. The AI performs its duties more efficiently than a person could, and its human overseers ensure it works correctly. One example of this approach is an autonomous car that a human operator supervises and seizes control of when necessary.

Another example of the oversight approach is Synaptiq’s recent work for our client in the financial services industry, DICIO. We developed an AI-powered machine vision model that interprets facial expressions and another that measures stress—both for account security purposes. The models perform their work automatically under the supervision of DICIO personnel.

Read the case study

#2. Augmentation

Another way to leverage collaborative intelligence is using AI to help people perform their tasks. This “helping” augments (i.e., increases, improves, et cetera) the skills available to the people who benefit from it. The online grammar-checker Grammarly is an example of the augmentation approach because it uses AI to help people perform the task of writing. 

#3. Split Roles

The third approach to collaborative intelligence is having AI and people perform separate tasks with a shared final objective. For example, in some hospitals, doctors collect patient samples by hand, then use AI to analyze them. The split roles approach is an excellent fit for this use case because human doctors are more personable and, therefore, more adept than AI at interacting with patients, whereas AI is better suited to perform data-intensive sample analysis.

Why You Should Care

 The truth is, artificial intelligence doesn’t have to replace anyone. Instead, it can help us do our jobs better. Organizations wishing to capitalize on AI without jeopardizing their employees' positions should consider collaborative intelligence. 

If you are such an organization, Synaptiq can help. We’re an AI and data consulting firm with a strong commitment to ethics and “human-first” innovation. Our team approaches every case with a collaborative, client-inclusive approach that shapes technology for people, even when it means defying the status quo. In the words of everyone who works with us, “We believe solving serious challenges, making a real impact, and saving lives is worth every waking moment of our day.”

If you have a problem to solve, a question to ask, or a strategy to refine, contact us directly at https://www.synaptiq.ai/contact-us. Not quite ready yet? Learn more about our work and mission through our latest projects or blog.


 

About Synaptiq

Synaptiq is a Portland, Oregon-based artificial intelligence and data consulting firm with a strong commitment to ethics and “human-first” innovation. Our team approaches every case with a collaborative, client-inclusive approach that shapes technology for people, even when it means defying the status quo. In the words of everyone who works with us, “We believe solving serious challenges, making a real impact, and saving lives is worth every waking moment of our day.”

If you have a problem to solve, a question to ask, or a strategy to refine, contact us directly at https://www.synaptiq.ai/contact-us. Not quite ready yet? Learn more about our work and mission through our past projects or blog.

 

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