How intelligent is too intelligent?

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How intelligent is too intelligent

Artificial intelligence (AI) is all around us in the form of chatbots, virtual assistants, search engines, speech and face recognition, and the list goes on. There are multiple ways AI-based applications impact our everyday lives. Mark Tindal, BrightCloud Group’s Head of Customer Success shares his thoughts about AI.

A recent conversation with a friend got me thinking about the scope of AI. How much intelligence is enough and how much is too much?

Just like most things in life there is an objective, a plan for what we want to achieve. We set goals that are reasonable and fit within the scope of the task in hand but what do we actually want our thinking machine to do for us?

We’ll look at an example, a Virtual Agent charged with finding cheap holidays online based on a few simple questions.

Here’s what we need to create the Virtual Agent:

• Backend links to all major travel agent sites
• A questionnaire to capture the relevant details
• An understanding of the languages of the humans interacting with it
• The ability to interpret natural language
• The ability to hold a conversation thread
• Answers to various chatter questions

Here’s what we don’t need:

• Everything else!

What would be the point in giving a travel agent, human or otherwise, the knowledge of the origins of the universe or the emotion to be moved by the subtle brushstrokes of Monet? It’s there to fulfil a role, to do a job.

Here’s an experiment, call your bank tomorrow and ask to speak to their supervisor or team leader then ask them this “what’s the current exchange rate from Yen to Australian Dollars?”. I suspect you’ll need to repeat the question a few times but inevitably the answer you’ll get back is “I don’t know, that’s not my job!”. Correct! It’s not their job to know that so why do we expect so much more of our thinking machines?

I can’t help but remember Marvin (the paranoid android) from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. “Here I am, brain the size of a planet and they ask me to take you down the bridge. Call that job satisfaction?”

We don’t need our machines to know it all, just enough for them to get the job done more efficiently for the customer and to make them feel valued. At BrightCloud Group, we use a process called AIQ to help you build an intelligence profile that’s aligned to your business objectives.

Get in touch now for a free consultation with one of our expert system designers and see how easy it is to adopt a little Marvin of your own.

Article written by Mark Tindal,  BrightCloud Group Head of Customer Success