What if Machines & People can work together?

One of the biggest challenges of our times is how to deal with huge amounts of data. It turns out software and computing power work much better when we can use it to augment our intelligence to scale up large scale task management.

What if machines/computers and people can work together in a way that leverages all of those data patterns and barely discernible connections that we know are there at the intuitive level.

What if we could understand intuition and leapfrog the 10,000 hrs learning curve for example?

Intuition Sean Gourley

In these two talks from TEDGlobal and TEDxAuckland we have two approaches from Shyam Sankar and Sean Gourley which both intersect on the chessboard. Sankars talk was published in September and Sean’s talk was recorded on Oct 6th in Auckland.

I don’t believe there was any connection between the two but they literally talk about the same chess match and the epiphany that moment generated.

A chess team called ZackS with 2 amateur players and 3 laptops managed to beat some Russian grandmasters back in 2005 in a shock result for augmented intelligence.

In Sean’s talk he talked about further research on the brain and intuition about how this might work. It turns out that advanced Chess players “intuition” is really a subconscious computation of all of the possible moves and consequences and that helps them to literally play a step ahead of everyone else.

“what we learned from this; is that we need to know when to listen to the machine
and when to listen to the human, and if you know when you’ve got two machines arguing which one you should go with. ZackS was driving the machines and it wasn’t artificial intelligence for them – it was augmented intelligence. And augmented intelligence I believe is an exciting and fascinating tool that we as a human species can use to go forward in the next millennium”..

He goes on to say – we use math to simplify a complex world and we can use visualisation to enhance our natural cognitive ability which is what his company Quid is all about.

“Data mining innovator Shyam Sankar explains why solving big problems (like catching terrorists or identifying huge hidden trends) is not a question of finding the right algorithm, but rather the right symbiotic relationship between computation and human creativity.”

Sankar starts his talk with the same chess game but he talks about how the ZackS team were able to work as partners with some relatively low powered pcs but they were able to add creativity and come up with a better process and a winning game.

He takes more of an artificial intelligence approach to the problem of data.

What do you think? Can augmented intelligence help us solve problems and work with an ever increasing mountain of data? In my view Sankar’s talk doesn’t get us very far because although we can use the ai approach we still need something like a visualisation to decode the results.