Recently, at #DigIn2019 Conference in Austin, TX, we had the unique opportunity to sit front and center of the stage to hear the famous Steve Wozniak speak to an audience of nearly 2000 people. One of the questions asked by the moderator was what the “Woz” thought of “artificial intelligence”, an excellent question for a pioneer of technology who gave us the Apple iPhone and television remote control. His answer surprised many when he suggested that the word “artificial” was a correct term to use, but “intelligence” had a very long way to go, and we may never experience it. Mr. Wozniak pontificated briefly about how little we know about the human brain and that to suggest that we can make computers intelligent was to mean that we ourselves might have a thorough understanding of how the human brain operates. And he asked the question, “where does memory come from?” Followed by “we lose two things between the ages of 6-10 years, our earliest memories and our teeth”. A compelling thought and one I think most can agree on, the human mind is highly complex. The grey and white matter beneath our skulls stores memories, learnings and experiences from all our senses as well as our less-understood human emotions.
It gave me pause to think about what we know today about machine learning. It is very important to have “big data” to study and identify statistically relevant relationships in this process, yet it is equally important to have humans ask the right questions, gather the appropriate data, ensure data quality and validate the outcomes while teasing out bias’s and the confounding data points.
In Walter Isaacson’s book, The Innovators, he tells the story of the collaborative pairs of individuals responsible for digital technology innovation, including Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage to Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Lovelace and Baggage were 100 years before their time, but Ada Lovelace predicted that machines would do many of the things computers do today, but she refuted that machines would be able to acquire human intelligence insisting that humans and technology would work together, even though her colleague, Charles Babbage disagreed, rather believing that machines would someday imitate humans, having intelligence. The argument is not a new one.
As social media has gripped an entire generation, we are beginning to learn, that it is not an adequate replacement for the physical presence of human interaction. If you have ever contacted a large company that uses machine learning algorithms to handle consumer questions, there is always a question the algorithms simply cannot answer or assist you with, and the interaction with the computer can become very frustrating, and this is not an uncommon experience. Yet, largely, many questions are frequently asked and therefore suitable for a machine to answer more efficiently and accurately.
As humans, we have an innate need for human contact and interaction and emotional understanding, and these intangible desires cannot be replaced by a machine, we simply aren’t wired that way.
At Care Bridge International, we use artificial intelligence to forecast medical exposure for claims in minutes, and we automate medical reserve setting, Medicare Secondary Payer processes and Care Coordination, but we have not left out the human element. Our experienced and professional staff are available to ensure the quality and accuracy of our future care models, as well as extending human compassion, empathy and friendliness in answering questions and helping our clients solve their toughest problems. At Care Bridge International, our name means that we create a bridge between humans and technology to deliver care and outcomes, based in science with a human touch.