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Automation, Artificial Intelligence And The Human

Automation has already far exceeded the physical capabilities of humans and now artificial intelligence is on the brink of surpassing our mental capacity. Combining the two may be playing with fire, but could the correct application lead to untold benefits?

In his collection of essays, A Message to Garcia, Elbert Hubbard wrote, ‘One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.’ This might have been true of pure automation, but combined with artificial intelligence, our fears are Hubbard’s line will be rendered redundant. That is to say, in comparison to the super-efficient and hyper-intelligent, we will all be somewhat ordinary. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Not if we work together...

Before I explain why, there is a very distinct, albeit fine line, between artificial intelligence and automation which needs to be addressed. Today, automation is the more ubiquitous. It can be found everywhere and is programmed to remove manual, repetitive and tedious work. It is a failsafe which does not make human error, but functions exactly as it is designed to, without cognitive thought. Automation, for instance, orchestrates the processes that enable you to order a takeaway at the push of a button.

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