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Best practices for augmenting human intelligence with AI


Artificial Intelligence (AI) should be designed to include and balance human oversight, agency, and accountability over decisions across the AI lifecycle. IBM’s first Principle for Trust and Transparency states that the purpose of AI is to augment human intelligence. Augmented human intelligence means that the use of AI enhances human intelligence, rather than operating independently of, or replacing it. All of this implies that AI systems are not to be treated as human beings, but rather viewed as support mechanisms that can enhance human intelligence and potential. 

AI that augments human intelligence maintains human responsibility for decisions, even when supported by an AI system. Humans therefore need to be upskilled—not deskilled—by interacting with an AI system. Supporting inclusive and equitable access to AI technology and comprehensive employee training and potential reskilling further supports the tenets of IBM’s Pillars of Trustworthy AI, enabling participation in the AI-driven economy to be underpinned by fairness, transparency, explainability, robustness and privacy. 

To put the principle of augmenting human intelligence into practice, we recommend the following best practices:

Use AI to augment human intelligence, rather than operating independently of, or replacing it.

In a human-AI interaction, notify individuals that they are interacting with an AI system, and not a human being.

Design human-AI interactions to include and balance human oversight across the AI lifecycle. Address biases and promote human accountability and agency over outcomes by AI systems.

Develop policies and practices to foster inclusive and equitable access to AI technology, enabling a broad range of individuals to participate in the AI-driven economy.

Provide comprehensive employee training and reskilling programs to foster a diverse workforce that can adapt to the use of AI and share in the advantages of AI-driven innovations. Collaborate with HR to augment each employee’s scope of work.

For more information on standards and regulatory perspectives on human oversight, research, AI Decision Coordination, sample use cases and Key Performance Indicators, see our Augmenting Human Intelligence POV below.

Explore our Augmenting Human Intelligence POV

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