What Is Centaur?

Refers to the hybrid human-computer system for approaching tasks. This pairing boosts the intuition and creativity of the human mind with the precision and brute-force of a machine.

The term “centaur” was coined after Garry Kasparov, the world chess champion at the time, was defeated by IBM’s Deep Blue. Kasparov argued that in “freestyle” or “advanced” match of chess (no holds barred), a human player should be given the same access to a database of moves as a computer has. Far from being a wacky thought exercise, the idea was embraced by the chess community, and the current freestyle world champion is no longer Deep Blue but, in fact, a centaur team called Integrand.

In chess, those teams outperform human-only and machine-only players. And lately, the term has increasingly been applied to man-plus-AI in another setting: the modern day workplace.


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Blending Centaur At Workplace

Many people who work in artificial intelligence and specialize in the workplace are of the mindset that these menial tasks, and the mandatory amount of time required completing them, is one of the most malleable aspects of the daily lives of humans. Passing off tasks that humans don’t need to do frees up time for creativity and other things.

AI can be limitedly used for Schedule meetings, employees are able to reapply hours of previously wasted time on things that will actually make their company run better: brainstorming sessions, one-on-one meetings, a refreshing walk outside, even a quick day-dream at one’s desk. By becoming a man-plus-AI “centaur,” employees can focus on things that truly matter to the company’s core mission. “This paradigm shift is about to happen.

Centaur’s Communication

But what will allow humans to communicate with AI more efficiently is still a matter of debate. “If we consider all possible uses of AI, then the next step is to introduce natural language processing everywhere which makes an all-around AI assistant that operates on mobile devices.

Natural language processing can be a powerful interface through which humans can communicate. Instead of typing in all the cells in an Excel spreadsheet, an AI agent could ostensibly be told to gather the data and fill the cells themselves.

The point is what you can say with a natural language query will override all processes that used to be a complication: filling in forms, sending an e-mail, walking to another person’s desk. All of a sudden, you will be able to do anything in a single, AI-assisted step. At its most dramatic, each person will have their own agent and we will have the opportunity to become these centaurs.

Probable Woes of Having Centaurs

But what may make us worried is about the AI agent does that understand all the details of the tasks in which they are prompted to complete. Without that understanding, there is potential for error and decreased efficiency.

The agent needs to not just mimic some sort of human dialogue, it needs to understand that objective in full, not a little, but in full, adding that, when building an AI agent, the programmer constructs its “brain” to understand a finite amount of functions. In effect, a miniature universe is created in which the agent will live. There can be nothing in that handover that they do not understand. That can be the downfall of the agent. Probably for the current environment in 2017, it really only allows for agents to work in a universe that is fully-realized.


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AI- Definitely A Boon

But, despite those constraints in the present day, both men believe that any task, for any profession, has the ability to be assisted by AI. Anything that is done in bulk — scanning images, reading documents — it’s just prone for automation. But not in a way where you are not a participant. We still want to tell the agent what to do. But now the agent can run away do these tasks for someone. You can do that for pretty much any job out there, and it should be happening more and more in the next ten years.

As AI becomes a major catalyst for the evolution of the workplace and centaurs being a crucial tool in the new business ecosystem, companies will be placing more emphasis on the improvement of human-based tasks, not the elimination of them.

As we move forward, technology will feel a lot more natural. Instead of us adapting ourselves to tech, tech will adapt to us. And that is what AI promises.