There has been a rapid advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) in this world. I strongly believe that people still hold a distinct advantage, the human advantage.
This past week our city team participated in a simulcast of a world-wide leadership event called Leadercast. The daylong event features some of the best leadership communicators in the world. Each year has a theme, this year’s was Human Intelligence. The central message was the value of humans in leadership in an ever-changing world.
One of the speakers, Dr. Radhika Dirks, the owner of an artificial intelligence company opened my eyes to the rapid advancement of AI. I found it fascinating, yet fearful. The capabilities of AI are crazy. She showed examples of how through a simple app, you can generate realistic images…that never happened. I can also write a 2,500 word essay for you within seconds, with its own references…referenced back to ZERO factual truth.
It stirred a lot of thoughts and emotions in me throughout the day. It generated a passionate plea to our team of the importance of Human Leadership. I firmly believe that in the world of leadership, that no advancement of AI that can ever replace our one distinct advantage, the human advantage.
Here are three personal reflections on the human advantage that we currently have and always will over AI:
Pastor Andy Stanley led the program off speaking on the concept of intuition. He defined intuition as, “Knowing without knowing why” and added that, “It (intuition) is impossible to defend to everyone else.”
Humans are intuitive creatures. Great leaders have solid human intuition. The greatest challenge for leaders is whether we can follow through on and trust in that intuition. Andy Stanley went on to say that, “Intuition comes first, strategic reasoning second” and that, “if we are not careful, we can reason ourselves past intuition.” I am not sure about you, but I can EASILY reason my way out of a gut feeling. Our desire for reason can impede our intuition.
As leaders, we must trust our intuition. If we peak in the rearview mirror, we can easily see those instances where we reasoned ourselves out of something we felt a strong intuition to do. Each of these moments were associated with a decision. Whether it was personnel related, operational related, or financial related, we went against that nagging feeling and paid dearly for it.
Computers are the basis of AI and each one has a complex wiring system. There is a level of detail that exists in their wiring that is beyond the average human’s comprehension. As complicated as they are, most have a similar pattern in their construction.
Humans have a complex wiring system as well, but the differentiator is that we are all uniquely wired. No one person is the same. Humans are constantly wired, disassembled, and then re-wired. That process is called experience. Experiences create new pathways, circuitry, and connections that make us all unique. With every experience, we are shaped and molded into person that we are becoming.
Experience is the great teacher in leadership. Most of those lessons are learned the hard way. We learn way more from what went wrong, then what went well. Each lesson taught, wires us to be a better version of ourselves. The better version of ourselves, the better leader we become.
Computers and AI must have a source of energy, electricity. The technology cannot operate independent of that.
The human source of life is the heart. Everything begins with it and everything ends with it. It pumps life into every extremity of the body.
There are some studies that theorize that the human heart has a magnetic field that can be felt from a distance. I subscribe to that theory as well. The COVID era has demonstrated this. Video conferences were a short-term alternative to direct human connection. There is no replacement for sitting in front of another human being and feeling their heart as they communicate. The feel of a person’s heart reveals their authenticity and genuine emotion.
The life of a leader resides in our hearts. Want to be effective as a leader? Start with a good heart. The people we lead need to be loved and cared for. There is no artificial substitute.
Maybe my simplistic human mind cannot fully grasp the capability of AI. I may significantly be underestimating its capabilities. Time will tell.
Until then, I choose to believe that AI cannot replace human intuition, experience, and heart. A computer will never handwrite a meaningful note from the heart to a team member, never show up at a visitation of their loved one, never check in on how their family is doing, or never be there for them when their world falls apart and they need help putting it back together.
AI may KNOW ABOUT the ones you lead, but it will never TRULY KNOW those you lead. All day, every day, believe in the human advantage.