The argument for augmented intelligence

The argument for augmented Intelligence

AI and creativity, AI and management, AI and leadership, AI and supply chain, AI and finance, AI and logistics, AI and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Everyone is writing the same article.

Yes, AI is awesome, it is very special and it's also this decade’s Big Data.

No one really understands it.

AI comes in as many flavors and colors as mochi ice cream which many people also don’t understand.

Seriously, what is mochi ice cream?

Similar to Big Data, AI has a spectrum of definitions; it casts itself as a wide net of technologies that spans across a lot of different things and can be described in ways that may even seem contradictory.

I myself have attempted, many times, to simplify it down and create some nice parallels so that our creative community can better understand what the hell it actually does, practically.

People usually walk away thinking that AI equals chatbot. Chatbots are great but they are very limited and are a poor proxy for AI.

The best way for me to explain what AI is and how it works is to tweak the name a bit and call it augmented intelligence.

While artificial intelligence is meant to help us humans with things like computation, memory, perseverance, precision and speed, which are all great things, when you extend the definition to augmented intelligence it then allows us to see how AI can help to augment more human things like abstraction, breaking rules, judgment, nuance, listening and storytelling.

After all we are dealing with humans, not robots.

The word augmented has made its way into our mainstream vernacular through great technological breakthroughs such as the dancing hotdog and puking rainbow, followed up by deer nose and wide eyes, professor glasses and animated thinky thoughts, Marvel masks and the newest technological breakthrough to sweep the world, animoji.

Yes, the word augmented has taken things like the selfie to new heights never before imagined and has the world completely captivated by its charm and ability to allow us to extend our faces into the realm of the imagination.

Snarky, yes.

Serious, hell yeah.

Augmented reality extends our senses and our imagination the same way I see how augmented intelligence extends our intellect.

Artificial was never quite the right word to describe what AI truly is and perhaps now is the right time to change that.

Artificial is scary.

It conjures up thoughts of Golems, Frankenstein, robots, replicants and computer brains that take over the world and enslave us.

If AI is the future then why give it a name that makes the future look so bleak?

When you look at AI as part of the augmented stack it becomes a lot more friendly and digestible as to what it actually can be as a creative canvas for the advertising industry.

As marketers, we want people to be smart shoppers, smarter about how they look for the things that they want and smarter about the way they go about asking for them.

We all want smarter customers because we will be able to have more valuable dialogs with them and actually engage them in a more valuable way.

So, in short, augmented intelligence allows us to make our audiences (and the industry) smarter.

With this new perspective, how can we as an industry employ augmented intelligence to extend our audiences’ ability to tell us exactly what they need and what they want, when they want it?

How can we as marketers use augmented intelligence to better interpret those signals so we can more accurately engage and serve up the right content at the right time?

I love that our industry is embracing artificial intelligence.

Perhaps if it is positioned as augmented intelligence rather than artificial intelligence we will start to see more powerful, effective and value applications of the technology.

When we are augmenting the imagination, we let our creative imaginations soar. I mean, who doesn't love to puke a good rainbow?

Imagine what we can do with augmenting intelligence, actually making our consumers smarter and more valuable.

Augmented Intelligence can help to take advertising into a much more bidirectional format where both consumers and advertisers are smarter in the way we listen and speak.

In conclusion, try swapping out the word artificial for augmented the next time you have an AI idea and see where that takes you.

Craig Elimeliah

Craig Elimeliah is the managing director of creative technology for VML in New York City.

All by Craig