Welcome to June 2022 edition of the Xth volume of Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs.
The theme for the Xth volume of our Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs is inspired from the editorial of the January 2022 special Issue of Prabuddha Bharata (The Awakened India) – Living a Meaningful Life in a Digital World.
For our present episode, we take up the article, Hybrid Intelligence by Dr. Alan Hunter.
Before we take up the article proper, a word about Hybrid Intelligence from the current technological literature would be in order:
The basic rational of hybrid intelligence is combining the complementary strengths of heterogeneous intelligences (i.e., human and artificial agents) into a socio-technological ensemble. … We call this Hybrid Intelligence, which is defined as “the ability to accomplish complex goals by combining human and artificial intelligence to collectively achieve superior results and continuously improve by learning from each other.” – Dellermann et al. (2019))
In light of the recent deep learning driven success of AI in both corporate and social life there has been a growing fear of human displacement and a related call to develop IA (intelligence augmentation) rather than pure AI. In reality, most current AI applications have a significant human-in-the-loop (HITL) component and is therefore arguably more IA than AI already. From here, there are currently two trends in the field. In one, increasing machine autonomy is pursued, first by placing the human-on-the-loop (to verify the result of the machine computation) and then by hoping to take the human completely out of the loop (as in the pursuit of artificial general intelligence). Two main challenges of this approach are a) the value-alignment problem (how do we ensure that the machine satisfies human preferences when we often cannot even express or agree on these ourselves) and b) the extensive human deskilling that often accompanies algorithmic advances. The talk will discuss how these two challenges may potentially be overcome by the second trend: the pursuit of human-machine hybrid intelligence (HI), in which the two interact synergistically and continually learn from each other. 
The article under discussion opens up a very different perspective. Here is the excerpt from the article:
Breathing seems to be individual personal activity. Walking in a forest or hillside provides the experience in wider perspective, as we notice that virtually all existence is breathing.
Equally, the water flow in the human body is barely a drop in the hydrological cycle that flows through every living being.
Thus, even as we know that breath and water have a universal vastness, most of the time we feel that intelligence and awareness are restricted to ourselves and the people we admire. Perhaps, we have just become blind to the vast expanses of the ocean of consciousness.
May be our restricted, heavily individualised, view of the nature of intelligence contributes to the causing the myriads of problems the human race face presently and failing to resolve them (as well).
However, the digital age has multiplied the human capacity to send-receive electromagnetic waves. That now seems to make it not impossible to communicate with entities beyond the solar system. Such contact may lead to a thorough revision of our most fundamental ideas and capabilities.
However, irrespective of ET communication, humans are now in position to enhance their intelligence and decision-making. This enhancement may arise in part through greater individual intelligence, or the emergence of religious or spiritual genius.
Beyond that we may also be able to benefit from hybrid forms intelligence – human-machine; human-plants; human-subatomic waves/particles and many other possibilities. Co-operation with machines is already increasing the use of OY – Non-biological intelligence -to control different types of human-computer interfaces.
People with interest in philosophy and spirituality may also consider if AI can play role in cognition of universal truths.
Humans have generally taken an instrumental view of plants and fungi. However there is growing awareness that the plant life of this planet may have its own ‘intelligence’. The study of plants from a cultural perspective, ethnobotany, reveals that traditional Indian culture is exceptionally rich in this respect, for example the pipal, banyan, Ashoka, tulsi, bilva and coconut.
Ancient cultures had tremendous respect for the spiritual components of animal intelligence, for example some birds deploy innate GPS far in advance of any human.
In short, plants and animals are totally integrated, complementary and balanced in the greater harmony of biosphere.
It is probable that in near future, there will be stronger links between plant intelligence and AI-assisted investigations. However, we do not have to wait for the results. The natural cosmos is all around, all the time.
Highly reputable scientists and philosophers strongly reject the idea that intelligent consciousness is somehow tied to and emanates from the human brain. They believe that this – known as scientism or physicalism – is out-dated and all that derives from it is pseudo-scientific.
One alternative perspective is that intelligent consciousness is inherent in and fundamental to the cosmos. This suggests that the term ‘hybrid intelligence’ should also convey the sense that, while its manifestations are hybrid, intelligence itself is fundamental and unitary. Human consciousness is unimaginably tiny component of highly integrated, intelligent, responsive cosmos does not exclude plants, animals, rivers, mountains, stars and galaxies and certainly does not prioritize one species over other.
The modern growth of human civilization is also leading the loss of biodiversity. Among all the losses that this entails, one is the loss of communication, or communion, with realities greater than our species. The digital technology has increased this pace of destruction, without fundamentally challenging it. Perhaps the fundamental mode of conventional computer transistors – on or off – is a good metaphor for black and white thinking, even of species that sees itself intelligence in itself and nowhere else.
More advanced Quantum technology may make it easier to explore a notion of hybrid intelligence, positioning human consciousness as a derivative fraction of an intelligent and creative cosmos. In other words, to create a meaningful era – whether digital or post-digital – we need a wise cosmovision, shared and personal.
After I wrote this, I realised that the whole argument is better made in two words of Ramana Maharshi: Arunchala Shiva.
We will now turn to our regular section -.
We now watch ASQ TV episode on –
- The Importance of the ‘We’ Culture – Luciana Paulise, the author of The We Culture, spoke to ASQTV about changing cultures and recent conditions that have forced companies to back away from a top-down culture of results and emphasize a team culture instead.
We have taken up one article from Jim L. Smith’s Jim’s Gems:
- Failure is a Myth – Don’t let failure inhibit creativity – Aristotle considered creativity a gift from the gods. .. However, where does creativity originate? In one moment, there’s a blank page; in the next, an idea…. When the time comes to do something with a new idea, fear of failure sets in… Nobody wants to fail…. But failure can be a key attribute to success…. The whole concept of failure is a myth. There is no such thing as failure. If we deconstruct the situation, ask big questions, squeeze every ounce of wisdom out of the experience, failure simply becomes the feedback.
I look forward to your views / comments / inputs to further enrich the theme of Living a Meaningful Life in a Digital World.
Note: The images or video clips depicted here above are through courtesy of respective websites who have the copyrights for the respective images /videos.
 Hybrid Intelligence: First Rate Humans, Not Second-Class Robots • Jacob Sherson
 Arunachala (hill of wisdom) Shiva (Atma, the spirit)
This refers not only to the sanctity of Arunachala itself but also to the pre-eminence of the doctrine of Advaita and the path of Self-enquiry of which Arunachala is the center. – ref: Arunachala Hill.