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AI and Automation Fuel Human + Machine Collaboration

By Elif Tutuk, Vice President of Innovation and Design at Qlik 

Think about a problem, any problem. Now, how do you start to tackle it? Alone? Or do you consult data, colleagues and experts?

Throughout history humans have advanced as a species and society through collective action. From the earliest days of hunting in collective groups, to large scale farming and now the global, interconnected and wired world. We work and make decisions by combining our skills and ideas with what’s around us.  

In today’s world that means data. Data, growing by the second, influences every decision. However, our ability to collaborate efficiently and effectively while incorporating data has overwhelmed us. Data’s sheer volume, scale and complexity outstrips our natural mental capacities. 

We are in the early days of what I think of as the Age of Intelligence. It’s where individuals’ knowledge and experience are regularly and consistently augmented by data insights. In this new age we need to reconsider our approach to working collectively. It means groups of people working alongside machines. And doing so will become one of the most powerful innovation and growth engines of society. 

Where do we start?

We start with accepting that no matter how big or small, we need data and analytics to understand challenges, calculate risks, find alternative solutions, have discussions, and bring in inputs from multiple stakeholders. All this must be done, at scale and in real-time, before we can finally take an informed action.

This is why over the past few years, we’ve seen growth in machine learning, AutoML, and AI-assisted insight generation to augment information consumers. These capabilities accelerate a user’s ability to detect an outlier, make classifications, identify trends and understand correlations. But these hidden patterns surface only as information.  

They aren’t really decisions—They’re inputs. What turns them into decisions is the human element—When information is combined with real-world experience and context to create an insight that can drive action.

This is where the machines become an incredible multiplier of human capacity and potential. With humans designing and implementing the rules and frameworks in which the machines operate, insights are generated and delivered based on needs or roles to augment the human, not replace them.  

Now take it one step further, when these insights are trusted and delivered when and how they are needed most. When that happens, knowledge workers are empowered with insights to which they add and share their unique perspectives with a whole group of associates, creating new information that builds on itself, creating collective intelligence that drives better decisions. 

Making decisions as a group, forming a consensus, getting ideas from different sources, and motivating people through ownership to drive actions—These are all components of collective intelligence.

Collective intelligence brings together the different knowledge, experience and insights of groups of people. When infused with relevant information by AI and machine learning tools, the collective can act more efficiently and effectively in a world awash in data. When we move away from considering intelligence as a measure of an individual’s ability, and instead augment groups of people with AI and machine learning, we accelerate insights, knowledge and positive action. 

Learn more about how Qlik’s data integration and cloud analytics solutions can help you turn insights into confident actions.