What is Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence? An Overview & Resources to Learn More About AI

With continuous leaps in human knowledge and advances in artificial intelligence, there is no telling what the future holds. However, one thing that is clear, is that human-informed technology is here to stay. So, what is human-centered artificial intelligence, exactly? Keep reading to discover what human-centric AI systems are and how they can assist us in creating a more inclusive future for all. 

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Understanding Human-Centered AI

Remember the 2009 iPhone commercial that proclaimed “there’s an app for that” – drawing attention to the seemingly limitless use of mobile applications? Well, technology seems to be going through a similar growth phase except, these days, there seem to be AI systems for just about everything. 

Artificial intelligence can power self-driving cars, help us with digital banking, lead to scientific discoveries and help humans in other aspects of our day-to-day lives. However, no one should assume that AI will replace humans. In fact, human needs, values, and ingenuity are what give artificial intelligence a purpose. 

“Despite increasing levels of automation enabled by AI – whether its AI driving our vehicles, designing our drugs, determining what news and information we see, and even deciding how our money is invested – the common thread among these systems is the human element. AI’s long term success is contingent upon our acknowledgement that people are critical to its design, operation, and use.”

– IBM Researchers, What is Human-Centered AI?

As technology continues to advance some companies, scientists, and technologists are taking a human-centered approach to develop AI. However, the major challenge remains the same – striking a balance between an autonomous system and one that honors human values. 

“Human-centered AI learns from human input and collaboration, focusing on algorithms that exist among a larger, human-based system. Human-centered AI is defined by systems that are continuously improving because of human input while providing an effective experience between human and robot.” 

– Cognizant glossary Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence

HCAI Systems: Examples of AI in Daily Human Life

Biometric Verification - Face Recognition - Biometrics and Security Concept showing human-centered artificial intelligence at work

Ultimately, AI and its many applications were created to serve human needs and desires. 

“I imagine a world in which AI is going to make us work more productivity, live longer, and have cleaner energy.” 

– Fei-Fei Li, Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University

The world that Professor Fei-Fei Li envisions is under development. And we see that in the human-centered AI technologies that exist on the market today. Below are a few examples of how artificial intelligence aids in our current human experience. 

Automated Email Services

AI is infused with various technologies and email services is surely one of them. Surely, you’ve noticed that Google’s GMAIL and other email providers have introduced AI-powered smart features in the last few years.

Some of the smart features present in GMAIL, specifically, can be seen in its ability to categorize email messages and its predictive language feature that helps users formulate quick replies.

Streaming Services

Do you have a Netflix or Hulu account? If so, you’re seeing artificial intelligence and machine learning at work. These entertainment streaming services use AI algorithms and predictive analytics to determine what content you enjoy and recommend videos for you to watch next. That, coupled with content rating systems, allows companies like Netflix and Hulu to make adjustments based on user behavior – ultimately curating visuals with you in mind. 

Facial Recognition for iPhone

Don’t feel like typing in your password? Just unlock your phone with your face – that is, if you have the latest iPhone. 

With the advent of the iPhone X, Apple introduced a more convenient and secure way of unlocking one’s device and dubbed it FaceID. While the feature itself was impressive, the system that powers it, The Apple Neural Engine, presents even more intriguing possibilities. 

“The first generation of the Apple Neural Engine (ANE) was released as part of the A11 chip found in iPhone X, our flagship model from 2017. It had a peak throughout put of 0.6 teraflops (TFlops) in half-precision floating-point data format (float16 or FP16), and it efficiently powered on device [machine learning] features such as Face ID and Memoji.”

– Apple’s Machine Learning Research Team, The Apple Neural Engine

Navigation Apps

Using a paper map is something of a bygone era. So, are the days of printing off your route from Mapquest, or another navigation service, and toting the directions along with you for the ride. Nowadays, thanks to Google’s implementation of artificial intelligence and satellite technologies, navigation is much simpler. 

Google maps not only aids in getting to and from your destinations, it also uses machine learning technologies to figure out your everyday commute so it can alert you if any accidents or traffic delays occur. 

Healthcare Technologies

When it comes to doctors and other healthcare professionals, artificial intelligence can be used to expand human capabilities. In recent years, we have discovered that AI can empower us to detect cancer faster, develop new pharmaceutical drugs, and perform surgeries with precision. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It can also help with the more mundane side of healthcare, aiding human users to transfer medical records or file medical claims with ease. 

And just think about all of the healthcare implementations that are possible. With new developments happening in AI every day, global healthcare’s bright future may be even more brilliant than we can anticipate – but we, humans, will certainly be the driving force behind it. 

Resources to Learn More About AI

Digital Transformation Concept - Virtual Hand Creating Network.

If you want to explore more about human-computer interaction and how it is evolving with the advent of new technologies, just keep reading. Below, we’ve curated a small selection of resources for you to learn more about artificial intelligence. 

Google AI

If you want to learn something, chances are you can Google it! So, when it comes to learning about AI, algorithms, neural networks, and the human-centered thinking behind it all, why not consult ML experts? 

Google AI’s educational site has learning guides, modules, articles on AI best practices, and more. 

Coursera

Ready to take a course on artificial intelligence? Coursera offers over 1,000 AI courses – allowing students to explore introductory concepts and advanced ones ranging from AI for business, data science fundamentals, deep learning applications, ML algorithms, and much more. The best part is that most of Coursera courses are free to audit and many offer students the opportunity to pay for a certified learning experience as well. 

Alternatively, students and ML practitioners can seek our learning opportunities from other MOOC providers such as:

Harvard Business School

Want a comprehensive course on artificial intelligence? Apply to take Harvard’s online AI course, Competing in the Age of AI, which includes a virtual networking experience, peer-led discussion groups, and live online classes – all with the goal of demystifying artificial intelligence and diving into its diverse applications. 

Conclusion

Human-centered AI is all about empowering humans, not replacing them! After all, AI is fueled by human creativity. From use in mobile devices, and digital cameras, to creating reliable systems to screen disease; AI is everywhere but we can’t ignore the human factors that provide a catalyst for its (and our own) advancement. 

Our intelligence is what make us human, and AI is an extension of that quality. Artificial intelligence is extending what we can do with our abilities. In this way, it’s letting us become more human.”

– Yann LeCun, Professor at New York University