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The Weekly Update EP:06 Chris Hattingh Breaks Down NHI, The New Bills & Laws Being Passed

The Weekly Update EP:06 Chris Hattingh Breaks Down NHI, The New Bills & Laws Being Passed

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    The future of AI is human

    Preserving the personal touch in an increasingly technological world

    Dawood Patel
    Dawood Patel

    In an era where the ever-advancing wave of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning washes over every corner of our existence, we find ourselves gripped by the undeniable potential of these transformative technologies. From redefining how we communicate to reshaping entire industries, AI is rapidly evolving, leaving few facets of our lives untouched.

    Amidst the awe and apprehension that AI inspires, one question echoes louder than the rest:

    Are the machines coming to take our jobs, our purpose, and ultimately our humanity?

    While the promise of AI and machine learning in enhancing efficiency and boosting productivity is undeniable, we need to remember that beyond the models and the data sets, there exists a realm of human touch that no machine can replicate – an understanding of emotions, personal touches, and the delicate nuances of humanity itself.

    Says Dawood Patel, CEO of Helm – leaders in customer experience innovation – “AI and machine learning have demonstrated impressive capabilities in automating tasks, processing large amounts of data, and making informed decisions. Think of those chatbots that handle customer service inquiries or help you reboot your internet when it’s down, AI has undoubtedly enhanced various domains.

    “However, beyond the surface of things like sentiment analysis, AI lacks the ability to comprehend emotions, empathy, and the intricacies of human relationships which are essential for it to be able to do its job. It’s important that we continue to harness the emotion and empathy required or we are in danger of becoming a robotic society. Understanding emotions and interpreting personal touches are quintessential human traits that arise from our complex neural networks and emotional intelligence. AI might be able to recognise facial expressions, but it cannot understand the depth of emotions that underlie them.”

    Human nuances stem from our unique life experiences, cultural backgrounds, and personal belief systems. The subtleties in language, tone, and gestures are often what distinguish a heartwarming conversation from a cold, automated response. Only humans can perceive these nuances and adapt their approach accordingly to build meaningful connections.

    “One of the greatest concerns surrounding AI is the potential threat to jobs. While it is true that some routine and repetitive tasks may be automated, the integration of AI and machine learning will lead to the evolution of existing jobs rather than mass unemployment. As AI takes over mundane tasks, it frees up humans to focus on more creative, strategic, and high-level responsibilities which cannot be undertaken by machines. Much like certain jobs implemented with AI could not be fulfilled by humans,” explains Patel.

    An example of this would be a conveyor belt in a factory where AI-powered diagnostic tools can analyse the quality of fruit (or if a pizza has been perfectly topped with cheese) with impressive accuracy.

    While AI can assist in detecting items that are not up to standard for export or resale, it cannot replace the expertise and intuition of a seasoned medical professional for example. This person will understand and consider a patient's lifestyle, and emotional well-being before making a diagnosis and prescribing a treatment plan. “Instead of replacing doctors, AI serves as a valuable tool here to enhance their abilities and streamlining the diagnostic process, supporting the doctor.”

    As AI continues to advance, it will create new job opportunities that require uniquely human skills. The development and maintenance of AI systems will require skilled professionals with expertise in data science, machine learning, and computer programming. Additionally, AI's integration across various industries will demand individuals who can understand, interpret, and leverage AI-driven insights to make informed decisions and drive innovation.

    “For hardworking people who seek growth in their careers, the rise of AI represents an opportunity rather than a threat. Embracing AI technology and acquiring the necessary skills to work alongside it can open doors to new and challenging roles. These roles may involve human-AI collaboration, strategic planning, creativity, and problem-solving – the aspects of a job that demand the human touch. This is what excites me,” says Patel.

    The future of AI and machine learning is undoubtedly promising, but it is crucial to recognise the indispensable role of humans.

    “Emotion, personal touches, and human nuances are qualities that define our humanity and set us apart from machines. Rather than replacing humans, AI will augment and elevate our capabilities, leading to the evolution of jobs and the emergence of new opportunities,” concludes Patel.

    Helm
    20 years of helping Africa's biggest brands turn complex customer realities into simple experiences they can't live without. (Formerly Praekelt Consulting)
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