Is AI Ready To Understand Human Behaviours?

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Is AI Ready To Understand Human Behaviours?

Using statistical data to build models for Artificial Intelligence (AI) sounds like a great idea, however, the real question that businesses need to think about is, “Is it enough to deal with human behaviours?”

In response to the constantly increasing demand for a reliable workforce with lower costs and lesser problems, the dreamers and the realists of the world have replied with AI as the way forward. It’s a logical step considering many of the problems today which, sadly, are the product of errant human behaviours. Certainly, human behaviour is not the easiest thing to deal with (logically) with its seemingly erratic, varied and seemingly unpredictable responses. To a certain degree, these futurists have seen some success in pulling from statistical data collected to build mathematical algorithms to predict certain human behaviours. There is definitely a room of success for AI to demonstrate with simple, trivial, repetitious tasks.  This is an incredible feat for sure and the future will certainly see more of this. So prepare now, as I say…


AI replacing human jobs? One glaring reality is that AI imitating tasks to aid in human work is clearly different from AI replacing the human need behind the task. If you take the analogy of the calculator; the task of calculating can be faster, but its results are heavily reliant on the input. Ultimately, the human being still needs to know how. And that’s the point. Of course as AI gets more complex, it’s not an excuse to get complacent or lazy. If anything, human beings will need to raise itself up higher to think critically above the erratic and/or dynamic nature of human behaviour.

Is Resistance is Necessary?

Frankly, resistance is inevitable, but is not stubbornly necessary. History shows us that we can already presuppose people will have some resistance to this change. Acceptance was not an easily solved problem when machines and robots took over some manufacturing jobs. In fact, it’s still not an entirely solved problem. But as tasks become more and more demanding, human beings will need to have faster, better, safer tools. While we are constantly searching for an easier or faster way, how it is implemented (ethically and/or professionally), that’s a different discussion.

The fact is that automation is useful. However, the consequences of trusting automation alone leads to a blind spot – Over reliance. We have seen this recently with organizations and its management, even in education and training. Which is why critical thinking is now such an important idea in many organizations today. Relying on systems and automated workflows blindly has created gaps. And it is only by thinking again, that we solve it.

The other important point about AI is that there are of course a lot things still needed to advance the collection of data as well as its reliability and accuracy to make this a reality. For example, we want big data to make sense and tell us what customers want so we know how to design our products, how to sell them, and how to manage the people we live with and lead. We collect information but frankly, many people aren’t considering about how to use or think about the information we gather. What does it mean? How do we know that’s what it means? The reality however is that, we are very much still in the infancy of AI being capable of such problem solving skills. Which means human beings are still faster and more capable of collecting, considering, clarifying, and deciding on how to resolve the problems of today.

Not Quite. Not Yet.

Truthfully, what human behaviour can be accurately interpreted by numbers at this point? You could take statistical data of the past 2 years of traffic jams and understand where traffic jams come from or build a prediction model to accurately pinpoint when people from country A will travel to country B, and how much they will spend. But this is all based on past patterns and isn’t a solid assurance for the future. Because who knows how the markets will behave in the new introduction of a new technology? The information relayed are still for us to think and act upon. To do the what we want computer systems to do, they would need to understand what we are doing, wouldn’t they? Which means we’d first need to know what we’re doing so we can program the computer systems. And frankly, that’s where understanding behaviour science and human psychology leads.

A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001). Copyright of Warner Bros and Dreamworks Pictures

There are still a lot of things we don’t understand about basic human behaviour to even program AI to be useful as we want or expect it to be. What we do know is that data or statistics isn’t enough to understand the intricacies of human behaviour. So in a very short word, the answer is “No”. Or rather, not quite yet. Until the work has been put in to properly understand the dynamic and constantly changing nature of human behaviour, human beings are still the best form of observation and reasoning capable to deal with of human behaviour.

So What Can We Do?

Behavioural science has advanced a great deal in modern times thanks to a lot of great work by Dr. Ekman and many of his peers in helping us understand our emotions and what triggers them. In Dr. Ekman’s case, he’s even tested and applied it into observe the way emotions behave when we lie. Which when you think about it, even in a world where AI provided human beings with information to act on, this would be a new task or skill required of human beings to check if it is genuine or falsified. And many of us aren’t simply don’t understand our own emotions let alone others, or are trained to do the work of evaluating truth and credibility.

Lie detection and EQ

The programs Dr. Ekman has designed are geared to provide you a good foundation of the basic understanding of what emotions are, how they are triggered, and how to recognise them in ourselves and in others. This allows you to then apply it to enrich the way you read and deal with others. The research behind it has been widely accepted which gives you accurate, reliable scientifically supported data as you make better decisions in the way we perceive communication and our interactions with others.

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By |2018-08-28T12:05:13+00:00January 29th, 2018|Current Issues, Emotional Intelligence, Science & Research|0 Comments