“Humans are underrated.”
Welcome to 2018, when a comment such as this one from Elon Musk passes as a compliment. In the face of constant news about automation, artificial intelligence and the rise of robots, it’s nice to see the creators of the machines score some points!
In all seriousness, while the increasing presence of AI in society raises important questions, we’ve been making this point to our customers and partners since our founding in 2012. It’s easy to hear about “machine learning” or “artificial intelligence” and envision a black box that will not only spit out perfect analysis and completely unforeseen insights, but also replace millions of knowledge workers around the world. The truth, while less flashy, is that we humans are the necessary ingredient, not the machine.
In our case, SetuServ’s text analytics platform needs significant human curation and maintenance to perform at its best and provide the highest quality insights to our customers. This isn’t a design flaw or inferiority; instead, it reflects the deep experience of our team coupled with tough lessons learned in the field with our clients. Quite simply, without near-constant curation of inputs, periodic rebalancing and an evolving approach to addressing business questions, any NLP tool will over-generalize. Human language is far too complicated to be left to a set of algorithms to process, interpret and suggest action.
Extracting actionable signals from the loud noise of customer feedback isn’t easy, nor should any organization seeking to delight its customers over the long-term expect it to be. AI can take our levels of analysis and insight to historical highs, but it can’t tell the stories and take the actions. At least not yet. Humans are underrated.