As the value of artificial intelligence continues to grow, many well-intentioned business leaders are rushing to incorporate AI into everything they can get their hands on. But is there such a thing as too much automation? The answer is yes. And it can actually have detrimental effects, including learning diminishment, complacency and even bias. The key is to strike a balance and let intelligent automation become a guide rather than a crutch.
The truth is, when we put too much trust in technology, our own skills can begin to suffer. Then, when something goes wrong, humans don’t know how to react. Today’s airplanes virtually fly themselves, yet pilots still invest hours upon hours simulating flights in order to keep their skills up to par. They know they must be ready and able to respond should something go wrong.
Likewise, there are actual psychological terms associated with how humans sometimes negatively respond to AI. For instance, automation complacency occurs when users cease paying attention to what’s going on due to over-reliance on technology. Automation bias is a phenomenon in which users believe technology, regardless of or despite the actual context. Neither of these situations are things you want happening in your organization.
Of course, this isn’t to say that companies should stay away from AI. To the contrary, as intelligent automation continues to evolve and improve, business leaders are making the wise decision to adopt such technologies to provide them with the competitive advantage they need to survive the next phase of the digital age. Simply put, automation is no longer an option, but a necessity. The goal, however, should be to create human-machine systems that, when designed properly, are greater than the sum of their parts.
A positive arrangement between human workers and intelligent automation should involve the following:
- Shared goals
- Complementary/compatible skillsets
- Excellent communication
- Useful feedback
- Identification of leadership
- Holistic viewpoint
Ultimately, the success of tomorrow will depend heavily on the ability for humans and robots to work together as teammates. Only then will you have achieved the perfect balance of intelligent automation and human ability.