Why artificial intelligence will not outsmart complex knowledge work
The potential role of artificial intelligence in improving organisations’ performance and productivity has been promoted regularly and vociferously since the 1960s. Artificial intelligence is today reborn out of big business, similar to the occurrences surrounding big data in the 1990s, and expectations are high regarding AI’s potential role in businesses. This article discusses different aspects of knowledge work that tend to be ignored in the debate about whether or not artificial intelligence systems are a threat to jobs. A great deal of knowledge work concerns highly complex problem solving and must be understood in contextual, social and relational terms. These aspects have no generic nor universal rules and solutions and, thus, cannot be easily replaced by artificial intelligence or programmed into computer systems, nor are they constructed based on models of the rational brain. In this respect, this article draws on philosopher Herbert Dreyfus’ thesis regarding artificial intelligence.