What is AI augmentation? We Answer Your Questions

April 2, 2024
min read
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The ranks of AI early adopters are growing fast. It won’t be long before it becomes a must-have for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Your AI strategy should reflect one of two main approaches: augmentation or automation. While they may seem similar, nothing could be further from the truth.

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In this article, we describe the differences. We explore their benefits and explain why a business might prioritize one over the other.

What is AI augmentation?

AI augmentation means using artificial intelligence to enhance human abilities. It does not mean replacing employees.

Empowering employees is the objective. AI-driven tools and insights help them do their tasks better and faster. They do this by playing a supportive role, helping improve skills and decision-making.

One example of AI augmentation is in customer service. Companies use AI-powered chatbots to handle routine inquiries. They also use them to streamline customer interactions in real time. This lets human agents focus on more complex issues where people excel.

Data analysis is another example. AI algorithms process lots of data quickly. They use it to find insights and patterns analysts might need help finding.

In these examples and others, AI augmentation enhances productivity and efficiency. It creates a more satisfying work environment for employees.

What is AI Automation?

AI automation, on the other hand, involves replacing human tasks with artificial intelligence. It streamlines operations. It minimizes human intervention and maximizes efficiency. It does this by shifting repetitive, rule-based tasks to AI systems.

The use of industrial robots in manufacturing is a classic example. Using AI algorithms, robots perform complex assembly tasks with precision and consistency.

Finance is another industry where AI automates tasks. This includes invoice processing, fraud detection, and risk assessment. Algorithms analyze big volumes of financial data in real-time. They flag anomalies and fraud with high accuracy.

The main advantage of AI automation is that it can streamline workflows and cut human error. You can reallocate human capital to more strategic initiatives.

Choosing the right approach

Both approaches offer benefits. But, the decision depends on the organization's circumstances, objectives, and culture.

Starting with AI Augmentation

If boosting employee productivity is your objective, then prioritize AI augmentation.

Greater capabilities, higher performance, and more creativity are the result. Employees experience AI as an enabler rather than a threat to their livelihoods.

Businesses use human capital more effectively by promoting teamwork and sharing knowledge.

Starting with AI automation

AI automation makes sense for businesses with resource constraints, inefficiencies, and scalability challenges.

Automation cuts costs. It improves process throughput. It makes scaling easier. Take notice of the benefits of mitigating compliance risk and regulatory complexity too.

Wrap Up

Both AI augmentation and AI automation have transformative potential. Which to prioritize is a function of business objectives and organizational contexts.

AI augmentation enhances human capabilities. AI automation streamlines processes, reduces human intervention and optimizes resources.

Augmentation is generally faster and less costly to put in place. Automation projects are larger and more expensive.

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