Research

Research: AI mimics the human brain’s subconscious

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The true extent of subconscious decisions made by the human brain has drawn parallels to artificial intelligence.

Huawei commissioned the research and found the average person is unaware of 99.68 percent of their decisions. Approximately 35,000 decisions are made per day by the human brain although, on average, respondents believe they only make around 111.

“The research shows how human intelligence works just like Artificial Intelligence, operating in the background to empower us in everything we do,” comments Walter Ji, President, Huawei Western Europe Consumer Business Group. “While revealing a significant gap between the number of decisions we believe we make every day and the actual number we make, the results also shed light on other discrepancies between how we think we spend our time, and how we actually spend it.”

Artificial intelligence can significantly improve efficiency and cut mundane tasks. That much we know, but it can also work in the background to make decisions similar to our subconscious.

The research was conducted to promote the Huawei Mate 10 Pro and its world-first AI processor — which were impressed with. In an opinion article, we predict an invasion of dedicated AI chips in smartphones in 2018.

Some interesting findings in the research include:

  • The average guess at the number of decisions made about food each day was five, when actually it’s 221.
  • The guess at the number of times we check our phones each day was 20, but in reality it’s 76.
  • When making a cup of tea we think we make just three decisions, but we actually make an incredible 65.

Paul Dolan, Professor of Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science, comments: “The results are fascinating and absolutely demonstrate that the automatic mind processes many things unconsciously. Contrary to what most of us believe, human decision-making is a process handled to a large extent by unconscious mental activity – and in ways that are actually really helpful. We create habits to prevent our minds from being overloaded by simple routine tasks.”

Most of us believe when getting ready to go out we take around seven minutes to decide what to wear. In reality, it’s around 17 minutes. Amazon, with the Echo Look, is attempting to help out with this very specific decision.

If AI can help us shave time off making some of the average 35,000 decisions per day, then more focus is able to be placed on more important tasks which cannot yet be automated.

The research was carried out in November 2017 by Lightspeed Research and features respondents from ten countries: UK, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Netherlands, Ireland, Switzerland, Belgium and France. It is nationally representative by age, gender and region.

What are your thoughts on the research? Let us know in the comments.

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