Augmentation, Not Replacement

It’s an age-old debate, every time there is major disruption. Will new industry displace people? Yes. Will it create more opportunities? Yes. Where is the balance? Only time will tell.

In today’s disruptive technology world, AI can be viewed as something that disposes of or augments workers. Does “AI” stand for Artificial Intelligence – something that replaces workers? Or does it stand for “Augmented” intelligence – something that helps and supports the amazing capacity of humans?

At C4i we think “Augmented.”

The term augmented is rooted in a notion that seeks and respects the unique abilities of humans. It’s a notion that says humans have dignity; we are not all simply replaceable, and that mindset affects everything from salaries to environmental impacts.

If we look at technology opportunities as a chance to make money by replacing humans, we will have a different outcome than if we look at AI as the chance to augment human beings in ways that bring out the best humanity has to offer.

For example, AI as “Augmented Intelligence” can augment a surgeon’s work, so that the physician can bring more of his humanity to medicine – giving him time to connect more deeply with his patient.  

What an important distinction. What an important vision. That the essence of humanity cannot be replaced, and we should look for ways to augment humanity so that it is all the good it possibly can be.