Malcolm Gladwell Says AI Will Make Human Judgment More Vital by Phil Goldstein, Web Editor for BizTech - Energy Watch News

Malcolm Gladwell Says AI Will Make Human Judgment More Vital by Phil Goldstein, Web Editor for BizTech

As artificial intelligence advances in the workplace, humans will need to solve mysteries amid large volumes of data that machines cannot. Artificial intelligence may replace some jobs, but it will also highlight the importance of human judgment in the workplace, forcing human workers to use emotional and analytical reasoning machines lack, writer Malcolm Gladwell said during an appearance at the Citrix Synergy 2017 conference in Orlando, Fla. Gladwell — the author of several books including The Tipping Point, Blink and Outliers — pointed to a 2007 essay by Gregory Treverton, who served as chairman of the National Intelligence Council. In the article, Treverton noted that puzzles are problems people solve by acquiring additional information. Mysteries, on the other hand, are problems people only solve by making sense of the information already before them. Mysteries, Gladwell said, are problems caused by “an excess of data, not a surfeit of data.”

The distinction is important, Gladwell continued, because “you have to know the kind of problem that you’re faced with if you’re going to figure out a solution to it.” More importantly, Gladwell noted that Treverton believed the world’s business, educational and governmental institutions were set up primarily to deal with puzzles, not mysteries, to gather more information. In the future, thanks to technology, experts will need to be mystery solvers, not puzzle solvers, and will need to be “practiced in the incredibly complex art of making sense of complexity.” People often ask whether AI will replace human beings, Gladwell said. “The answer is, no, it does not. What it does do for us is clarify what the role of human beings ought to be.”

What the world needs, he said is “people who can act socially, not just operationally. People who can be analysts and not just collectors of information. People who are comfortable with uncertainty. People who are able to have that kind of complicated, intimate, sensitive, real conversation with a parent or a patient and get that core of the problem on the table.” The bad news is that the role of experts will get a lot more difficult, Gladwell said. The good news, he said, is that “in the future, we are not getting rid of human judgment, we are much more in need of human judgment.”

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