AI: another source of chaos or the ultimate tool to tame it?

Artificial intelligence is an interesting way to accomplish tasks and support decision-making. After all, it’s based on an amazing quantity of information and answers almost anything.  Listing AI-based tools is a lost battle, as dozens are being created as you read this.  Algorithms are being refined at the same speed, and many are already expecting to see artificial general intelligence soon.

However, artificial intelligence lacks one key element: judgment. Remember that “salmon swimming in a river” AI-generated image?  While the results were in line with the request, the lack of context in the request made some human judgement essential to understand that it wasn’t the expected result.

When you use any AI tool, you exercise some judgment: which question to ask? Which problem to solve? How does the answer help me in my context? As the Italian AI entrepreneur Alessandro Di Fiore said, judgment is a journey in which humans are at the center.

Also, one of the latest NN/G studies about interactions with AI technology brought out such behaviours. In both interaction strategies they identified, judgment was central to helping users reach their goal – through shrinking or expanding artificial intelligence outputs, or by apple-picking the most appropriate ones.

Back to the title of this post – is AI generating more chaos than it helps to handle?  The answer seems to be lying in the hands of its users – you!  What does this mean for Business Analysts & UX experts out there?

❌ AI alone won’t solve your problems. Its real value will come from how you use its outcomes for your specific context.  Fundamentally, it’s not different from any other tool you use in your day-to-day activities.  Using AI to accelerate some of your tasks can be wise, as long as you stay aware of what it’s doing – and not doing – for you.  Otherwise, you will only generate more noise around you.

🧩 Exercising your judgment is a critical piece of the puzzle to interact with AI. To exercise your judgment, you need to understand the environment in which you evolve.  Again, using artificial intelligence can be the right move if it can free you to better assess & understand your environment.  Nonetheless, it cannot assess all the dimensions of your environment – your judgement is again essential to determine how to leverage it.

So, context & judgment matter. The funny thing is that, five years later, my review of the impacts of AI on Business Analysts is still valid! Yet how can you be sure that you really understand your organization’s context? How can you leverage your own expert judgment in complex, interconnected ecosystems?  That’s where your expertise & toolbox comes into play.  And maybe you need to add AI to your toolbox 😉

And if you want to improve your own toolbox (with or without AI), you don’t want to miss my upcoming online courses.  Targeted at helping experts to make sense of this chaos, they will help you to stand out in today’s complex work environments.  Join the waiting list today!

Photo by James Lee on Unsplash

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Eric Provost

Making sense out of chaos as a BA & UX specialist

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