A Sports Analogy for Understanding Different Ways to Use AI

The potential impact of generative AI on the economy, society, and work is polarizing, swinging from the positive benefits of a technological revolution to doomsday scenarios. The authors have come to think about this issue as points on a spectrum and have created a sports analogy to help think about it: AI tools can range from steroids, to sneakers, to a coach, each representing a different relationship between human users and the technology. Steroids elevate short-term performance, but leave you worse off in the long term. AI-powered tools can instead be used to augment people’s skills and make them more productive — much like a good running sneaker. On the most desirable end of the spectrum, AI-powered tools can be used like a coach that improves people’s own capabilities. This framework can be used to help conceptualize how we might craft AI-based tools that enhance rather than diminish human capabilities.

Augmenting Human Cognition and Decision Making with AI

Microsoft Research Forum, January 30, 2024 Jake Hofman, Senior Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research NYC discusses recent research in building and evaluating AI tools for helping people make better decisions and improve their own capabilities. See more at https://aka.ms/ResearchForum-Jan2024