One of the most commonly debated topics nowadays is about the imminent triumph of intelligent machines over humankind. They will take over the world, our jobs, be able to function autonomously and become more intelligent than humans. Even the brightest minds of our era, like Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates and Elon Musk believe they could pose a threat to humanity. Artificial Intelligence does, however, remain, artificial. Here are cases where the brain wins over the machine.
Brain Beats Bot
In 1996, Garry Kasparov, the best chess mind of his era, beat IBM’s Deep Blue intelligent robot in a six-game match. It was a close call, but the human mind took the win. However, a year later, the two opponents rematched and Deep Blue took the win.
Earlier this year, a six-year-old artificial intelligence debating system was put to the test. It went face to face with one of the world’s most famous and decorated practitioners, Harish Natarajan. After a 25-minute fire-spitting exchange, victory was handed to the human brain. IBM was not able to prove that robots can triumph over man. Debating requires creativity, elective elocution and critical thinking. Unlike chess, it takes connecting and convincing people of opinion and point of view. Such attributes are specific to human intelligence and consciousness.
A Japanese hotel, the world’s “first robot hotel”, saw itself powering off more than half of its 243 robots. It received complaints that, not only were the robots inefficient but that customers preferred human contact and assistance too. The hotel’s staff was composed of robot concierges, robot porters, entertainers, cleaners, even chefs. However, it turned out, the robots were not that good at their jobs and could not go one day without human assistance. The piano player in the lobby did not actually play the piano, and most robots present for assistance said: ‘Please ask me a request, but don’t ask me a difficult question because I am a robot.’
Areas where Human Intelligence will always win against Artificial Intelligence
Jobs requiring a certain level of communication are very unlikely to be automated. Many jobs use communication skills like persuasion, humour, empathy, or confidence. For example, professions in healthcare, education, psychology or sales require an exhaustive range of abilities on how to converse, share, interact and respond to other individuals.
Salespeople have to play on human emotions. In order to socially engineer the desired result and sell it, salespeople need a sense of intuition, which is proper to human intelligence. Machines cannot adapt their strategy to specific personalities, be versatile or adapt. Selling more complicated products or services like vacations or new IT systems require a level of competencies that cannot be replaced by robots.
Critical Thinking and Unstructured problem-solving
A robot’s intelligence comes from what it is programmed to do. Programming languages are so strict that any kind of divergence can result in making the program obsolete, and the robot useless. Another soft skill humans possess and robots don’t is critical thinking. AI is most used to perform repetitive, routine tasks, but is incapable of acting when faced with eventualities that go beyond what it was programmed for. Humans get gut feelings, can think outside the box, see the different ways to approach a problem and make connections when they are not visible. For robots, solving problems in which rules do not exist is impossible. Most new situations require human intervention for the robot to continue working, like updating, fixing or introducing new programming.
For example, in the legal industry, robots may be used to help identify relevant documents, but the analysis, the solutions, the debating and the judgement still need to be done by a human professional. In the medical industry, though robots may be able to diagnose a disease and perform the surgery, only a human would be able to react and handle complications.
Creativity regroups inventions, original ideas, pieces that capture and express human emotion. Therefore, something that is generated by each unique human mind and the way it thinks. Robots have created creative pieces like music, art, even pieces of writing. However, these works truly lack a human creative touch. The creative works intelligent machines produce are generated by imitating input information, and executed without consciousness or understanding. AI-generated recipes or inspirational quotes, though innovative and interesting, remain proof that robots are still missing a certain special thing to be creative.
Therefore, jobs requiring true creativity, such as those in music, visual and performing arts, writing, even engineering and marketing are unlikely to ever be performed by something other than humans.
Artificial Intelligence and robots are the subjects of many fascinating controversies. Will they take over the job market, even over the world? However, as aforementioned, artificial intelligence remains artificial, and cannot compare to human intelligence and its nuances. Machines cannot have culture, the human way of transmitting meanings and context over time. Though intelligent machines are capable of truly remarkable things, they cannot match a human brain.