19 Nov I prefer real intelligence every time
David Wethey thinks AI can’t replace real people, real intelligence and human empathy.
We have just moved house.
It has been a major hassle, because we have relocated to another part of the country from where we have lived for many years. Virtually all arrangements have had to be changed: HMRC, bank, utilities, stores, phone and broadband, doctor, TV, credit cards.
We have also acquired a completely new stable of tradesmen, craftsmen, removers, local shops, furniture and carpet suppliers, kitchen and bathroom specialists. And the difference? Staggering. Automated bureaucracy versus the personal touch. When you have been dealing with helpful, talented individuals, whose motivation seems overwhelmingly to offer great service, the frustration with computerised process becomes massive.
Endless keying of email addresses, passwords, multi-digit numbers – and still our instructions are disregarded, we don’t get what we asked for, and it has to be done all over again.
The tech cognoscenti, digital zealots and futurologists are falling over each other to advocate new applications of artificial intelligence. Believe me, I’m not a luddite. But I do feel that the case for applying AI, simply because you can, is something we should challenge.
I have two problems with AI – I don’t accept (based on my experience) that automation necessarily does things better.
Secondly I am not convinced that making people – hundreds of thousands if not millions of people – redundant is a price we should contemplate paying.
What is the point of offering tertiary education to more and more young people if the biggest companies invest heavily in not employing them?
Artificial Intelligence? We should be careful about where we apply it. Let’s hear it for real people, real intelligence and the empathetic, collaborative behaviour that comes from being human.