Guest Blog: Richard Boyd, CEO of Tanjo
Partnering with Machines – a 21st Century Imperative
By Richard Boyd, CEO of Tanjo
The last century was about recorded images, video and the birth of the Internet. Today, the imperative is achieving the right balance between humans and automation to optimize outcomes.
In the past decades, we have created powerful technologies to assist us, but we adapted to technology on its terms. We learned to program in arcane languages to communicate with computers. We tethered ourselves to desktops, flickering screens and keyboards, suffering eye strain and carpal tunnel syndrome. In the first stage of the information age, the things we made, made us.
Our technology asks too much of us. It makes us work too hard. In the last two decades we watched schools, hospitals, architecture offices and companies large and small implement technology and completely change their habits, alter their focus and re-design living and working spaces to meet technology on its terms. We attended training courses for days and weeks. All too often humans would forget the real aim of their effort – educating children, healing people, manufacturing and moving goods, and delivering services that make people’s lives better and more productive.
This new age is about simulation and intelligence amplification – a time when the technology will serve us and people will harness the power of networked intelligence to attain superhuman-like capabilities and change the world for the better. Computers will learn from people, and successful adopters will view machines as a partner and an integral team member.
“Networked human/machine intelligence, effort and attention” is the means to achieve better and more efficient decisions to solve problems that matter most. In this new age, people will not compete against machines but instead learn to partner in ways that free them to work more efficiently with informed decisions – essentially becoming superhuman. (What Hans Moravec calls “ourselves in more potent form”) An important new skill for any organization will be evaluating every task to identify where machine learning and automation can accelerate progress and which tasks should remain reserved for human effort.
We will learn to use technology for what it does best. Computers read text quickly. They recognize patterns quickly, they can now self-improve their understanding and improve their judgment, and they never forget. Partnering with machine learning systems frees people from labor intensive and repetitive tasks. The term “Big Data” has been in vogue for years, but there is a big leap from data to information, and an even bigger leap from information to intelligence (information that has been computed). Machine learning cultivates actionable information and automatically presents it to the right people to foster intelligent decisions.
By partnering with machines empowered with machine learning technology, businesses and organizations of all types will increase group knowledge around many subjects more rapidly and synchronize the way the group thinks and communicates around that knowledge.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are fundamentally transforming how business is conducted. Those that get it right will prosper. Those that fail to partner and seek synergy between man and machine will not only not be competitive but will begin to appear handicapped.
Richard Boyd is a founder and chief executive officer of Tanjo, which develops machine learning and automation technology to transform businesses, reshape industries and enrich people’s lives. Over three decades, Richard has led or helped create some of the most innovative technology companies in the industry. Richard and co-founder David Smith spent almost six years developing technologies at aerospace and defense giant Lockheed Martin where they founded the Virtual World Labs innovation group focused on the emerging fields of virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence. In 2014 they left Lockheed to build their own machine learning brain and founded Tanjo.