Augmented Intelligence: What it is and Why Your Business Should Adopt It

Technology has opened up tremendous opportunities for businesses to operate more efficiently and profitably. Artificial intelligence (AI) is leading this digital transformation wave by automating repetitive tasks and interpreting complex data.

However, even as AI delivers value, most experts argue artificial general intelligence that truly mimics human cognition may be decades away. This is where augmented intelligence comes in — combining the speed and accuracy of machines with human judgment, common sense and creativity.

In this 3,000+ word guide, you will learn all about augmented intelligence, including:

  • What is Augmented Intelligence and How Does It Differ from AI
  • Why Augmented Intelligence Matters for Businesses
  • Real-World Examples and Use Cases
  • How Augmented Intelligence Systems Function
  • Key Benefits of Adopting This Technology
  • How It Complements Both Humans and Machines

Let’s get started!

What is Augmented Intelligence?

Augmented intelligence refers to technology that assists and aims to enhance human intelligence. The goal is to effectively combine the complementary strengths of human cognition with the tireless accuracy of machines.

Gartner defines it as “

a human-centered partnership model of people and artificial intelligence (AI) working together to enhance cognitive performance, including learning, decision making and new experiences”.

The key difference between AI and augmented intelligence is that the latter keeps humans involved instead of aiming to replicate or replace human intelligence. It focuses more on assisting people rather than pursuing autonomous machine learning.

Key Characteristics

Here are some core features of augmented intelligence platforms and tools:

  • Work in conjunction with people rather than replace jobs
  • Aim to enhance and extend human capabilities
  • Continuous learning to keep improving over time
  • Transparent functionality focused on building trust
  • Adaptable to new environments and changing needs

Examples of Augmented Intelligence

Some examples of augmented intelligence that focus on improving human performance include:

  • Salesforce Einstein – Predicts customer needs, automates tasks, and tracks metrics
  • Grammarly – Checks written communication for errors and style issues
  • Jira – Manages projects and tasks by compiling data and insights
  • SparkToro – Researches contacts and provides insights to build relationships
  • ZoomInfo – Surfaces professional data to enable sales prospecting
  • Leadfeeder – Tracks web visitors to generate and qualify leads

Why Augmented Intelligence Matters

Augmented intelligence platforms are becoming vital for organizations aiming to maximize productivity and efficiency. They empower humans instead of just optimizing individual tasks and workflows.

According to recent research from McKinsey, companies that implement these emerging technologies across operations can raise productivity growth up to 50% over the next decade.

Let’s explore some key reasons why augmented intelligence is so valuable for modern businesses:

1. Closes Skill Gaps

Many companies struggle to hire workers with skills matching their strategic goals, especially in areas like data science, engineering and analysis.

Augmented intelligence tools can fill these skill gaps in a couple of ways. Firstly, they handle tasks that overburden understaffed teams. Secondly, they skill up existing employees by providing support and insights they lack.

For example, an augmented data platform can compile, process and analyze information. It enables less tech-savvy employees to interpret findings and extract value.

2. Speeds Up Decision Making

AI-driven systems can ingest and process data far faster than any human. This data powers good decision making across departments like sales, marketing, finance, etc.

Now, augmented intelligence takes this a step further. Besides prepping the data, it also learns preferences, patterns and goals from human counterparts. Over time, it customizes findings, metrics, recommendations and more tailored to users and roles.

As the system better supports their workflow, employees can make decisions faster without sacrificing quality or outcomes.

3. Drives Higher Quality Work

Augmented intelligence enhances performance by programmatically supplementing human effort with machine productivity according to situational needs.

Let’s say a couple of financial analysts are working on market valuation models for an upcoming IPO. The augmented platform can rapidly compile relevant data, process it and highlight patterns the analysts may have missed.

Such collaborative analysis where people and technology participate as peers yields higher quality work. The analysts also improve over time by continuously learning from the system.

4. Adapts To Evolving Needs

As your business grows and markets shift, needs and priorities keep changing. Augmented intelligence systems continually recalibrate by learning about changing behaviors and performance.

For example, a sales lead qualifying solution keeps tuning lead scoring models and campaign strategies based on conversions, deal values and pipeline trends.

This automatic adaptation ensures the technology continues optimizing outcomes and global objectives even as specific processes evolve.

5. Scales Expertise Across Teams

Top performers possess domain expertise and intuition gained from years of experience. Augmented intelligence platforms capture such rare skills into algorithms, data models and training systems.

They distribute expertise accumulated from your best people across the organization. Everyone gains the knowledge and skills needed to achieve peak productivity.

In a way, you multiply your firm’s collective ability to execute winning plays learned from expert playbooks codified into augmented systems.

How Augmented Intelligence Systems Work

Now that you appreciate why augmented intelligence matters, let’s explore how these next-gen platforms actually work.

The mission is to tightly couple human ingenuity with machine efficiency through an intelligent and adaptive digital feedback loop. There are five core system capabilities that enable this seamless symbiosis.

1. UnderstandSituations and Contexts

An augmented system must comprehend specifics around user goals, environment conditions and other situational constraints and requirements. Advanced NLP algorithms today can accurately interpret:

  • Natural language queries and commands
  • Enterprise data sets with domain-specific vocabularies and taxonomies
  • Human interaction patterns as people engage with the system

Global context captured from these inputs directs the platform’s adaptive responses attuned to unique needs and scenarios.

2. Surface Relevant Knowledge

Augmented intelligence solutions utilize vast knowledge bases relevant to target roles and activities. For salespersons, this includes:

  • Prospect interests and pain points
  • Successful pitches and strategies
  • Market trends and emerging requirements
  • Competitor actions and pricing

Platforms ingest both structured (CRM data, calendars, etc.) and unstructured data (emails, chat logs, documents). The result is targeted insights served up in user workflows when they need them most.

3. Generate Recommendations

Relevant knowledge powers practical next best action recommendations so users know what to do and how to excel. For example, marketers see tailored ideas to:

  • Improve campaign response rates
  • Qualify and nurture promising leads
  • Upsell existing customers
  • Win back defecting accounts

Tip quality improves continuously thanks toBuilt-in feedback loops tracking human actions and outcomes.

4. Automate Tasks

Augmented platforms automate administrative and repetitive chores enablingmore high value work. For customer service reps, this means:

  • Added hours each week for complex case resolution vs. paperwork
  • Higher first contact resolution rates
  • More same-day case closure

The system handles what it can reliably do, freeing people to focus on high-impact activities best suited for human talents.

5. Continue Learning

Truly smart augmented systems continuously upskill human users while also improving recommendations and automation over time via built-in feedback loops.User actions, queries, outcomes and more provide supervisory training data.

For example, a misclassified sales qualified lead would indicate bad data or algorithms. By fixing the root cause, the platform enhances overall lead scoring precision.

The result is a virtuous cycle where humans and technology collaborate – each augmenting the other’s effectiveness basedon situational learning.

The Benefits of Adopting Augmented Intelligence

We’ve covered what this advanced technology is and how it aims to create symbiotic human/machine partnerships. Now let’s explore 5 compelling benefits your business can realize by adopting augmented intelligence platforms:

1. Increase Revenue and Growth

When augmented solutions enhance employee productivity and performance, they indirectly fuel business growth. Consider that highly engaged teams generate double the annual revenue compared to disengaged peers (Source: Gallup).

Direct revenue impact is even higher. Augmented sales and marketing tools average $2-$10 higher ROIper $1 spent compared to conventional systems (Source: Gartner).

2. Make Smarter Decisions Fast

Augmented intelligence supplies role-based insights in real-time that workers use to tailor customer interactions and strategic business decisions.

You gain speed and smarts. Together, they help you outmaneuver competitors who struggle with disjointed data and delayed reactions to market shifts.

3. Launch Products and Services Faster

Companies can accelerate time-to-market by up to 25% using augmented DevOps platforms assisting software teams across the build-measure-learn lifecycle (Source: McKinsey).

Improved requirements validation, complex coding, continuous delivery and automated user testing are some of the key areas ripe for augmentation.

4. Win the War for Talent

The talent crunch continues tightening with highly skilled candidatesAt historic premiums. Businesses implementing augmented tech can “skill up” existing employees while requiring fewer scarce new hires.

Talented people also prefer collaborative augmentation over robotic process automation. You gain an edge attracting top talent by providing engaging career growth anchored in jointly elevating human and machine capabilities over time.

5. Enhance Workplace Culture & Ethics

Augmentation favors inclusive partnerships over isolation and disenfranchisement. Workers gain more satisfying and meaningful jobs working alongside responsive tools.

Joint oversight also reduces overall business risk factors common in autonomous AI solutions lacking ethical guardrails and transparency.

The result is positive cultural impact – your organization becomes known as an empowering place for talented people to do their best work thanks to smart collaboration.

Key Takeaways and Next Steps

Augmented intelligence represents the next evolution of AI where the focus shifts from systems that replace to platforms that empower.

Scaled across large workforces, this symbiotic human/machine partnershipunleashes smarter decisions, more meaningfulexperiences and accelerated business growth.

To learn more and explore use cases for your specific needs, connectwith leading augmented intelligence platform providers like:

By aligning people, data and insightsto continuallyadapt together, you gain networked intelligence orders of magnitude greater than any individual or computer alone. The future of work looks brighter for both talentand technologies in the augmented age!