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Does AI make us more human?

"What I see is the opportunity for us to be more human through technology." - Matt Brittin, President Google EMEA on the future of AI.

The ‘good vs bad’ predicament is one of the biggest debates at the heart of the AI conversation.

The exponential and accelerating growth of this technology - where development is overtaking the understanding of longer-term impact - is sparking understandable concerns. From job losses to security concerns, to ethical challenges and ‘fake news’, it is causing apprehension and anxiety across all sectors

Yet amongst this, it can be easy to overlook the positive, game-changing opportunities AI can facilitate.

Whilst threats exist, AI has the potential to revolutionise and accelerate breakthroughs, approaches, operations and outcomes across so many sectors. We risk missing out immense opportunities if we are too scared to embrace AI.

But beyond the individual instances AI will support, it presents one clear benefit across all sectors: AI saves valuable time.

Through harnessing automation opportunities, AI frees us to enhance the human capabilities it cannot replicate. Our creativity, our emotion, our innovation.

Businesses and brands should be more concerned about not embracing and harnessing AI capabilities. AI has the potential to make us more effective and efficient by enhancing human output rather than jeopardizing it. Numerous examples already demonstrate the benefits of AI in various industries.

A sustainable future

Google’s AI software Green Light is supporting our sustainable future through reducing greenhouse emissions from transport. This AI Technology optimizes traffic flows in order to reduce vehicle emissions in cities and urban areas.

In food production, DeepLeaf’s AI analyses diseases in crops to improve yield and reduce pesticide use by up to 40% – increasing harvests and reducing overall agricultural footprints.

Our future lives

In biology, breast cancer researchers are working alongside AI platforms that can operate at the same level as a trained radiologist and be trained to spot malformities in mammograms that may be missed by the human eye.  

Healthcare game-changers like this will have real impact if they can be accessible at scale – AI can support this too. Large databases can become easily searchable with AI; helping doctors and researchers identify patterns and protein structures than will underpin the development of new vaccines and medicines.

The future generation

Lecturers are encouraging the use of AI to offer new perspectives within education and fight the idea that it threatens creative original thought.

Dr. Helen Crompton, Professor of Instructional Technology at Old Dominion University, encourages her students to use ChatGPT as a stand-in for specific personas and viewpoints — such as a debate partner to highlight weaknesses in their arguments – to offer nuance and understanding they may not have otherwise considered.

AI can also offer personalisation to different learning styles, with tutors in the US (Querium, Aleks and Carnegie) using AI algorithms to assess knowledge and then offer specifically tailored lessons to students. It provides a catapult for individual skillsets and strengths and taps into future knowledge that may otherwise lay dormant.

The collateral positives

Not only does AI’s revolutionary technology improve these quantifiable outcomes, but the impact inadvertently goes beyond that – by giving humans more time to do what technology can’t.

We can channel more focus on the wider education of environmental threats, give patients more personal and in-depth medical attention, and spend more time tapping into the creative and innovative minds that are the foundation of AI technology in the first place. It should not be seen as a threat to jobs, but as an opportunity for self-improvement.

The key denominator?

With all of these instances, AI would not be able to exist without our support or frameworks.

Microsoft has aptly named its AI chatbot ‘Co-Pilot’, as humans will always remain in the driver’s seat. Ultimately, without our input, AI would not exist. That is where they key lies. AI will work best with us, not instead of us – improving the human ability, not sidelining it.

Of course, there is room for the abuse of AI. But where there is room to create, there is also room to detect. The focus needs to be on using AI to identify its own malpractice, and to clear the pathway for these globally impactful opportunities.

What does this mean for marketing?

AI can empower marketers to deliver even more tailored experiences, enhance their customer engagement and drive higher ROI for their campaigns.

Hyper-personalization, predictive data-led analysis, content creation and campaign optimization all offer new and exciting elements to a marketer’s toolkit. With more space and time for us to be more creative than ever, the possibilities are endless.

But we must be cautious not to become fully reliant on AI and lose sight of the human factor. AI should enhance, not replace. The positives lie in combination, not substitution, to mitigate against the potential threats. That is the very essence of what marketing aims to achieve; to truly understand the human consumer at the other end of the brand relationship.

Read more from our Insights team.

By Helena Bush

Marketing Executive at adm Group Ltd