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  • Writer's pictureHugo Pinto

AI today and tomorrow: augmenting human intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is one of today’s defining technologies when it comes to disrupting industries, activities and basic human needs. But it’s implications go way beyond killer robots and job loss. And we’re currently getting stuck in resisting evolution, we need to start seeing beyond that.


It is fascinating to have such a powerful toolbox at our disposal @IBM with Watson – automating processes, augmenting the capability of employees and creating scalable personalisation for our clients’ customer experience strategies are just some of the cool tricks we apply on every strategy and UX workshop we run.

But it’s in real businesses and everyday life we see these technologies changing everything – including solving some of humanity’s biggest challenges.

The first proof points around how close we are from solving our basic human needs are quickly pilling up, and even if they need to break some legislative, political and lobbying barriers, they will become standards.

Food will soon stop being a concern anywhere in the world.

Fossil fuels will no longer be necessary and energy will be free.

Health will be at every one’s grasp and will change life sciences.

Just before you read the next section, watch this Ray Kurzweil’s Ted Talk, just to get in the zone (it’s still quite relevant):


Need is the biggest driver of change, so as the lower levels of Maslow Hierarchy of needs become universally available, starting with the examples above, we’ll turn our attention to the higher levels: belonging, self-esteem and self-fulfillment (maybe even come up with new ones).

At this stage we’ll use as much cognitive capabilities as machines will be able to replicate human traits. Many experts talk about our fear of machines, but not many speak about what humans will be capable of doing with the augmentation provided by cognitive technologies.

These technologies are changing the way we think, the way we learn and ultimately removing the physical barriers that currently hold back our creativity from asking bigger questions.

Anyone can become a Musician.

Anyone can become a Chef.

Anyone can find love (with the help of Knorr).

We are indeed on the verge of the next revolution, the cognitive revolution, and this one is going to be about how we change how we create, learn and think while reimagining our co-existence.


We will have access to all of humanity’s knowledge with a thought – so why should we spend 18 years memorising that knowledge? Learning will become far more talent-driven and vocational.

It should also explore the potential provided by using all the available sensorial channels.

How smart would you be if you had wikipedia not at the tip of your fingers but one thought away?

How smart would you be if you had the knowledge of a group of experts from anywhere in the world?

Identify your natural predisposition and leverage the knowledge of every expert on the planet. Read what books they read and see the talks they saw, and then hear their thoughts on it.

Collaborate in realtime with other adjacent fields experts required to solve a problem all of you are interested in and collaborate regardless of where you are or who you have access to.

Interpersonal, communication and emotional skills will become ever more relevant and problem solving as creative as you can imagine, in a mix of digital information embedded in the real world producing yet more data.

The size of the questions we ask will drive us to uncharted knowledge territories.

Let’s do a quick recap on where intelligence has gotten us to:

  1. We began with understanding our survival in the planet.

2. The wheel propelled us in exploring and understanding sociology and psychology, by creating efficiency in physical movement and an exponential growth of human physical capability – truly dominating the planet.

Clearly Darwin did not meet this sculptor's ancesters

3. The industrial revolution brought our beta version of societies (We’re very close of needing to change this model since it’s no longer sustainable – #Trump, #Brexit, #Ronaldo’s statue).

4. The internet created the Cambrian explosion of knowledge and communications, which enabled us to collaborate on the biggest problems generated by the previous revolutions.

5. AI will give us the capability to explore new frontiers: who we are to the sub-atomic level, how far we can go into the universe. The fusion of technology and biology, will mandatorily enable us to accelerate natural evolution.

The difference is this one will take decades, not centuries nor tens of thousands of years.

And it begins with Elon Musk’s latest moonshot: Neuralink.

Watch his full intervew @Recode 2016 here.

Exciting times ahead…

A few interesting reads around how a few other experiences have been surfacing for the last years.

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