Augmented Decisions


Leonardo Loureiro

The future is already among us: we must learn how to work and interact with robots, devices and software based on artificial intelligence, since they are gradually becoming part of our everyday life.

Today, I start with a story which I am sure you will remember: the day Gary Kasparov became the first person beat by a machine in a chess game. As he puts it in his TED Talk 2017, nobody remembers he had won several times before that fatal match. The point is that his defeat, evidenced the world had changed. He was by far, the best world chess master, in his time. Everybody remembers he played against Deep Blue, but very few know that the machine had been programmed by grand chess masters, hired by IBM; that Deep Blue lost against Kasparov first, and that for the following game, algorithms were improved by these experts teamed with specialists, adding Deep Blue’s technological power to its triumph. Moreover, there was an extraordinarily strong psychological pressure on Kasparov for the second round: colossal gigantographies in New York and prestigious magazine covers such as Newsweek, announced the rematch. 

It is said that during the first round of the game when Kasparov is beat, there is a very particular move, where Deep Blue moves a piece, but instead of jack mating Kasparov’s king, it moves to another place. After the round won by Kasparov, he analyses the game and this particular move. If Deep Blue had moved the piece where other human players would have, Kasparov would have won 20 moves after. This makes Kasparov extremely nervous because he realizes that Deep Blue could analise up to 20 moves ahead.  

He loses the following round, and the next three games were drawn, until, finally, an incredibly nervous Kasparov is beat at the decisive round of the game. There are several mystical speculations made in connection with this game. So much so, that it is said that that movement made by Deep Blue in the first round was a software bug.

Upon having lost this game, among other problems, Kasparov falls in deep depression; however, after thinking it over and over again, he studies the impact modern technologies will have in people’s lives. In his field of action, he encourages playing tournaments where a chess master, teamed with a machine, plays against another master with another machine. The first experience is a failure. Nevertheless, he realizes that computer trained masters’ chess strategies are highly better to his own. According to a chess expert from Costa Rica, any master nowadays is beat by a mobile application.

Finally, Kasparov organizes a tournament where outstanding heads play with the support of super-computers, and other teams play a chess tournament. Surprisingly, the winning team is a group of amateurs with regular computers. This is where we appreciate the power of reinforced intelligence.

Therefore, I would like to introduce the concept of Augmented Decisions. It refers to using augmented intelligence to make our own decisions.

Augmented or mixed Intelligence results from harnessing several technologies such as BigData, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, 3D printers, Cloud Computing, Robotics, Quantum Computer Science, Nanotechnology, among others. All of them are already accelerating changes in all industries as it has never happened before; therefore, it is crucial to thoroughly analyse what is taking place, so as to get ready for the near future.

It is a future marked by a storm of transformations where technologies which are now familiar to us, are combined  to head industries faster into the eye of the hurricane  where business dramatic changes are.

Interestingly, a new expression coined by Garner, Digital Twin, which could be defined as our digital double-ganger, is reaching closer to the fact that there will be more digital representations of our physical world. For instance, cities will have more sensors, everything will be inter-related, and as we have been working at Quanam, there will be medical ontology created by intertwining deseases, causes, medicines and treatments, whose findings are shown in a relations graph, all of which results in extremely useful networks to make sound decisions. There is also a Digital Twin when we are told that any economic asset may have a token based on Blockchain.  

We will have increasingly more sensors in our body; today there is already one we carry everywhere: our mobile, a device plenty of information. 

Even vehicles have more sensors, for example, cars have a device connected to the onboard computer which keeps record of engine data, speed, location, among others. This information in its turn is used by endless applications.
August issue of MIT technology Review published the findings of a survey made worldwide, between February 20, and March 29, 2018. Its aim was to ask 2357 leading corporate executives from several economic sectors, about the implementation of Arifitial Intelligence solutions in their companies. 

To my surprise, I found out that even if the focus was AI, there is another section of the research focused on data: the new oil? In a Catalan Consultant’s words, instead of OIL, he refers to the new SOIL, meaning fertile land where a myriad application can be built. These data must be quality data, gathered in a defined context, with a goal, and at a specific business speed.

These entrepreneurs are certain that Artificial Intelligence will eventually have a major impact generating significant changes in whatever industries it is implemented.

The research reinforces what we have been doing  with some of our clients, for several years. Integrating quality information to make the best decisions., which are now reinforced by the support of more intelligent pieces of software. In other words, we will have to learn how to work with an intelligent assistant in all all areas of our life.