How AI Can Become a “Third Hemisphere” of Our Brains

AI threatens 47 percent of jobs, but can make life better.
December 27, 2016, 5:31pm
Image: Geralt/Pixabay

While artificial intelligence may replace truck dricers and beat us at chess, it also has much to offer: it can free up our minds and responsibilities for the tasks and social interactions we humans are best suited for. In this TEDx video featuring Felix Hausler, CEO of messaging interface Chatgrape, Hausler discusses how AI is becoming more a part of our daily lives, and how we can overcome the challenges this could pose.

AI can be used for good as much as it can be a threat: it beats us in every technical game, exercises tireless intelligence, and yet it also helps us with research, or drives us home when we're too drunk to drive, Hausler pointed out during his talk. Because of AI, 47 percent of jobs are at risk, he said, and humans will lose their jobs to automation in the next decades.

Truck driving, other transportation, production, and administrative jobs are particularly susceptible to AI. However, while it may threaten jobs, the ability to merge with technology, to coexist with AI could help us become "super humans," Hausler said.

Machines need us more than we think, he said, and we need machines to make our work more exciting. "If we accept that we need each other in this life, we'll both profit from it," Hausler said.

Machines have limitations, especially in that they are inept in social situations. To get the most out of AI, people need to understand the limitations of computation, and allow machines to do just what they're good at, freeing up humans to do what they're good at, such as social engagement, creativity, and logical reasoning. At the same time, humans need machines to counteract the "deadly dullness" of dry, monotonous work, since the human brain is not made for the dull or repetitive, he said.

Hausler proposed a "third" sphere of the brain, in addition to the left and right, the parts that govern logic and creativity, respectively. This third hemisphere has to do with repetition, accuracy, and speed. By taking care of the dull and repetitive, AI lets humans focus on what they're better suited for. Using machines to clear up ambiguities in communication, to mediate among people who think differently, and to translate a person's thoughts or patterns into tasks can help people find common ground, said Hausler.

There are a few ways people can connect with AI today, he said. One is natural language processing, in which the machine listens to a person, reads what they've been writing, and adds some intelligence to make that all easier. Another is behavioral, in which the machine is connected to a person's device and learns about the owner in order to offer adjustments based on their patterns. A third way is augmented reality, in which the machine improves a person's visual field, and gives them information while they're doing something else. And a fourth way is brain computer interface.

"The moment we're able to have a real brain computer interface, a frictionless, will be the moment we have access to this third hemisphere and can directly outsource every bulk task we have to a machine," said Hausler.

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