One Way AI Can Help Us All In Life

One Way AI Can Help Us All In Life


Stephen Hawking once said that “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race… It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn't compete, and would be superseded.”

This statement is either supported or heavily opposed by society. The supporters believe that artificial intelligence is the beginning of the end for the human race, while the opposers imagine that artificial intelligence unleashes the untapped potential and capacity of the human mind. Can you blame Her, Ex-Machina, Black Mirror, Westworld, and other fictional depictions out there? Maybe. But there’s one way AI can help you in your daily lives.

The advancement of AI is can’t be ignored, and with its capacity to aide humans, it shouldn’t be. Industries in e- commerce, finance and healthcare are already reaping the benefits that AI has to offer. When humans are designed to have one of the most advanced brains, yet hate having to actually use it - who can blame these industries?

Imagine scrolling through a plethora of different white, fluffy bed sheets on  Amazon. Maybe you like Egyptian cotton sheets, but don’t need a thousand thread and in the midst of searching for your perfect sheets, you are bombarded with numerous brands, types, and designs.

The simple task of purchasing new bed sheets has turned into an unnecessary cumbersome affair. Too many options are hampering your ability to decide and purchase. In fact, too many choices lead to complete dissatisfaction on purchases. In Stanford’s famous jam study, people who bought from a selection of 24 jams were more unhappy with their purchase vs. people who bought from a selection of 6.

In neuroscience, having too many options to choose from is called choice overload, which occurs when you’re overwhelmed, confused, and stressed out when making choices about almost anything - from buying bed sheets, looking through a menu, choosing what to wear to work everyday, grocery shopping to choosing what insurance plan to opt-in to. This is because your brain functions in two modes when making decisions. One mode is largely automatic, it makes reactive decisions based on intuition. The second mode is deliberate, it makes rational, analytical decisions. This mode is also where will power comes from. The second mode is finite - you can only make so many logical decisions before the tank is empty and you have left only with the first, reactive mode. From deciding what shoes to wear, what salad to get, what kind of pasta to buy, you are inundated with micro-decisions everyday. These decisions eat the fuel you need for will power and deliberate thought.

To save the willpower and deliberate fuel for more important things in life, let’s forego micro-decisions completely with the help of your new best friend, AI.

Remember how helpful recommended products are when you’re online shopping? And what if AI can sort out what you really need faster than you can, by eliminating all contenders for that perfect bed sheet amongst the thousands of sheets based on all your product preference? Your tank is now free from making gas-guzzling micro-decisions.

The technology might not come about anytime soon, but it’s not far off considering that AI (combined with human diagnosis) produces 0.5% error rate compared to 3.5% error rate on human-only diagnosis. AI’s ability to ease your daily life in order for you to perform at your best mental, emotional, and physical capacity is profound. As complex as the human brain is, human beings are creatures of habit until given sufficient reasons to jump ship.

According to the jam study, choosing the first choice not only saves your rational fuel, it also helps you feel happier about your decision. By relinquishing your micro-decisions, AI may just refuel your mental tank by saving you time, money, and energy.

Feed Your Brain

15Center founders Matt Johnson, PhD and Prince Ghuman are co-authors of Allure: The Neuroscience of Consumerism. To get early access, sign up here.

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