Humans and Machines Make a Great Duo

In 1997, chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov lost the World Chess Championship to IBM's Deep Blue. He was, in a sense, one of the first to lose a job to AI. Instead of seeing AI as the enemy, Garry wondered: What if humans and AI could team up?

This curiosity sparked the concept of "chess centaurs" – teams combining human intellect with AI power. The idea took shape in 2005 when Kasparov organised a groundbreaking chess tournament. The victors were not grandmasters or supercomputers but a surprising team of two ordinary people and three humble computers. Their secret to success? Teamwork. The computers searched for the next best move. When they disagreed, the human beings helped resolve the conflict. Effective cooperation mattered more than individual ability. This set the stage for augmented intelligence, where humans and AI collaborate for powerful outcomes.

Modern AI technology doesn’t have to be an adversary stealing jobs; it can be more like a helpful companion, making life a little smoother. We founded appliedAIstudio based on this idea. Imagine a guide helping to reduce food waste and feed those in need, an assistant helping make homes safer for the elderly or for those with disabilities, or a coach helping you focus, remove distractions and keep you in the zone as you work. AI can be a supportive sidekick, making us better at what we do.

The challenge lies in finding the right balance between humans and AI in the workplace. Instead of focusing on efficiency, the key is making people's lives better. Rather than replacing humans with machines, AI should enhance our jobs, making them more enjoyable and effective.

Take, for example, MaxwellAI, a product in development at appliedAIstudio. A significant part of our time is wasted in trying to manage chaotic information— trillions of neurons collectively needing to be rescued from chaotic digital worlds. AI can help make the digital world less chaotic. MaxwellAI creates an environment that empowers digital creatives to not only enter the zone but stay in it consistently.

MaxwellAI caters to various digital workers – artists, writers, software developers, and gamers alike. It assists artists with feedback, writers with distractions, and gamers with a smoother experience. For the software developer, the AI is designed to filter feedback and prioritise revisions. For the writer, the AI is designed to help get idea inspiration and online collaboration assistance. For the gamer, the AI is designed to automatically optimise game settings and suspend distracting background processes while playing. Think of MaxwellAI as having a super-smart, but almost invisible assistant that declutters digital life.

Making intelligence like this work requires powerful computers. Looking ahead to a future where people and machines team up more, we'll all need access to much more powerful machines. We believe the everyday tablets, laptops, and PCs of the future will be way more powerful than what we're used to today. The appliedAIstudio team, for example, has joined the NVIDIA Inception Programme to leverage its resources in building MaxwellAI. Regular cooperation between humans and machines likely means a future where having a high-power PC capable of reasoning, understanding and awareness is just a regular part of everyone's work.

So far, the best intelligence app is still the human brain. But AI can help remove barriers to its performance. Humans and AI can make a great team. When AI is human-centred, when it’s used to augment people and make their lives better, it’s a powerful force for good.