According to a recent survey by Gartner, the number of organizations implementing artificial intelligence technologies has skyrocketed by an incredible 270% since 2015. With worldwide AI spending projected to reach nearly $98 billion by 2023, it’s become abundantly clear that we’ve reached a pivotal point in futuristic tech. Yet, these numbers may indicate a shift toward complete automation, the truth is that AI cannot truly be successful without the guidance of humans.
The Basis of Successful AI
One of the key benefits of artificial intelligence is that machine learning algorithms can be developed and refined over time, without the need for human input. That doesn’t mean that humans aren’t necessary, however. To the contrary, AI cannot function well enough for machine learning capabilities to kick in unless there is access to ample, accurate and relevant data on the front end. And that’s where the people part of the puzzle come into play.
Think about popular artificial intelligence systems like Alexa, Siri and even Tesla. These systems must be constantly fed data in order to operate and continuously improve. If the information being fed to these systems is not robust, accurate and diverse, however, the programs we’ve all come to know and trust will not be able to operate properly. In other words, garbage in, garbage out.
For AI to function at its optimal potential and deliver maximum value, trained data – which is detected, selected and labeled by humans – must be provided. From there, the AI’s algorithms will then process and use this scrubbed data to carry out actions and make more informed decisions.
Seems simple enough, right? Well, considering the fact that 96% of AI initiatives run into issues with data quality and a disheartening 8 out of 10 AI projects failing outright, clearly there’s a disconnect. Beyond inefficiency, untrained data can result in troubling biases that can be downright dangerous, particularly when it comes to critical decision-making.
The Human Connection
Despite the growing rumble that artificial intelligence will usurp humans, the technology simply cannot properly function without the oversight of a human or team of humans. In fact, taking this a step further, we purport that AI can only be reliable and therefore successful when it involves a cohesive marriage between advanced technological capabilities and trained human agents. Simply put, human skill is the secret sauce to AI success.
The good news is, developing and implementing a team of trained professionals to oversee and manage artificial intelligence in your organization doesn’t mean having to go out and hire a bunch of pricy experts. (This is especially optimistic given the current and long-projected talent shortage.) In fact, it’s as simple and straightforward as reskilling and upskilling your existing staff to become citizen developers. And with tools like the Automation Academy, this has never been easier (or more affordable).
Contrary to popular belief, the key to success with artificial intelligence requires a strategic combination of human oversight and well-vetted data, not pure automation. As AI continues to permeate more and more areas of our lives, the practices we implement today will drive the effectiveness of our technology in the future. By ensuring high quality, relevant data and incorporating humans into the loop, you can be more confident that your AI initiatives will generate long-term, sustainable success.
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