The human advantage in the age of AI

Category: AI Asia Events

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, one question persists: What is left for humans to do? Can artificial intelligence (AI) and machines truly replace humanity? Puneet Singh, from PWC delves into this complex topic at the AIBC Asia conference, which is taking place at the SMX Convention Centre. Humanity, as he sees it, is not defined by a single skill or task, but rather a unique blend of consciousness, self-awareness, and purpose that sets us apart.

Augmenting human capabilities

From its inception, AI has been developed to enhance human abilities rather than replace them. Over the years, AI has demonstrated remarkable progress, taking over tasks that were once considered the sole domain of human intelligence. AI now excels in complex games such as chess and Go, and performs various activities traditionally handled by humans. Crucially, AI is viewed as a tool to augment human capabilities, not a replacement for human existence.

“It’s not about merely replacing skill or attributes. It’s about defining a new generation and human evolution with technology and artificial intelligence as augmented tools.”

Extending physical capabilities

Long before the digital age, humans created machines to perform physical tasks beyond their natural abilities. It is widely accepted that a car can run faster than a human, and on flights, autopilot systems manage planes while pilots take breaks. These machines extend human abilities, enabling achievements that would otherwise be impossible.

AI’s increasing intelligence

AI’s rapid advancement has sparked debates about its role in our lives. Some experts, including Elon Musk, have predicted that AI could soon surpass the combined cerebral power of all humanity. Regardless of whether this prediction comes true, AI remains a powerful tool that significantly augments human capabilities.

The Human Advantage

Despite AI’s impressive capabilities, three core attributes continue to define the human advantage:

  1. Consciousness: Unlike AI, humans possess a sense of consciousness, an awareness of existence and experiences.
  2. Self-awareness: Humans have the ability to reflect on their thoughts and actions, understanding their place in the world.
  3. Purpose: Humans are driven by purpose, a quality that cannot be replicated by AI.

Defining the Future with Technology

The discussion now centres on how humans can harness AI to achieve greater things. By leveraging AI and other technologies, humanity can realize goals far beyond previous imaginations. Technology is seen not as a threat to human obsolescence, but as a means to evolve and reach new heights.

“While no skill can define humanity, purpose can. So if we are able to define what we are here for and we try to utilize and augment our abilities with tools, with machines, with AI, I feel we can achieve much more than what we can dream up.” 

As technology and AI continue to advance, the potential for human achievement grows exponentially. The future is not about losing humanity to machines but about defining a new era of human evolution with AI as an ally.

The unique aspects of being human—consciousness, self-awareness, and a sense of purpose—remain irreplaceable. Embracing these qualities alongside technological advancements can lead to unprecedented achievements, shaping a future where human and artificial intelligence work hand in hand.

Budapest, Hungary event


Budapest, Hungary

02 - 04 September 2024