News & Events

Why humans and computers think better together

Posted · Add Comment
humans and computers

Some have voiced fears that artificial intelligence could replace humans altogether. But that isn’t likely. A more valuable approach may be to view machine and human intelligence as complementary, with each bringing its own strengths to the table. – Guszcza, Lewis & Evans-Greenwood

In its history, AI has been largely considered a threat before a technology that can be of major assistance to the human race. However, not enough attention has been paid to what is possible should humans and computers work together and “the ways in which machine intelligence and human intelligence complement one another.” (Guszcza, Lewis & Evans-Greenwood)

The fear of machines meeting human intelligence and surpassing it is associated with AI, but is far from AI software already in use. The technology has simply not yet reached this vision, first set out at a conference held at Dartmouth University in the summer of 1955. However, augmenting human intelligence through a symbiotic relationship between man and machine is something already in play.

The article reference above uses the example of making use of a GPS software like Waze. The human specifies the goal and criteria, the software then analyses and filters through enormous amounts of data – in a way a human mind couldn’t hope to do. And the human then considers the options placed before them by the computer and makes a decision. While the computer may have done what we consider to be the hard work, the whole process could not have been thought up or concluded without human intelligence. Read more of this fascinating article here.

3 Geeks and a Law Blogs Greg Lambert references this article in his blog post, Freestyle Legal Practice: Inferior Lawyer + Technology Beats Expert Lawyer + Technology? where he writes about how a speaker at last month’s BIALL conference made him sit up and pay attention – to use his words.

There’s been so much buzz about how Artificial Intelligence (AI) is going to replace so much of the legal industry, that it is overshadowing something that we’ve known in practice for over twenty-five years. Lawyers and technology have a symbiotic relationship…” – Greg Lambert.

Lambert suggests that not only will the legal industry benefit from making use of technology, but furthermore legal personnel who are able to identify how they can best make use of technology – combined with which particular processes, to help solve a very specific problem – will have the competitive edge.

This is reminiscent of when ILTACON 2016’s keynote speaker Mike Walsh mentioned Jeannette M. Wing’s theory of Computational Thinking – the future of literacy, or “the ability to break a problem down in way that a computer can help you solve it at scale.” – Mike Walsh. Furthermore human’s are still necessary for ‘data literacy’ – knowing how to interpret data thrown at them, and then making decisions on this.

Also at ILTACON 2016, Shaun Temby, a Partner at Maddocks, suggested that for just this reason, the legal sector needs to be open to innovation in order to attract Millenials to the legal industry. They may be the most open minded to, and already far ahead, in just this kind of thinking.


Efficiently manage your suite of online resources
Manage library research requests, simply and beautifully
Streamline research charge processing and improve cost visibility