Augmented Intelligence vs. Artificial Intelligence: Everything You Need To Know

Two types of intelligence are commonly known by most people: artificial and human. But did you know there is a third? 

The third is augmented intelligence, and it’s the technological boost to your organic brain. Commonly found in driver assistance programs, disability assistive tech, and computer games that use aim assist this technology are far more common than you may know. 

In this article, we will be discussing the differences and similarities between artificial and augmented intelligence.


The main goal of artificial intelligence is to complete an entire process without the need for human interactions, thus allowing computers to completely replace the need for a human in non-emotional tasks. A great example of this is in the ability of AI to engineer. A real-world example of its capabilities can be seen in some new walking bridges. 

These organic structures are Completely designed with generative A.I. assisted by the power of 3D printing. Structures can now be made with the absolute minimum amount of material, something that humans could not do efficiently. Augmented intelligence improves and recommends solutions to a problem to enhance the capabilities of human creativity and thought processes. 

An example of augmented intelligence improving a human’s current capabilities would be that of driver-assistive technology. With the help of software and cameras, cars can warn drivers about blind spots, how far a curb is away from your car, and certain brands completely stop or take control of your vehicle to avoid a crash. 

Even the writing assist technology that is built into Google Docs, Word, and Grammarly is considered augmented intelligence. They improve what has been given to them using machine learning but do not fully automate the creation of writing.

Decision Making

The main difference between artificial intelligence and augmented intelligence in decision-making is that artificial intelligence has complete thoughts that result in a yes or no decision or a one and a zero in the case of a computer. Augmented intelligence, however, will not make a complete decision but instead suggest an idea for various outcomes. The example of assistive writing technologies is a good demonstration of how decision-making for augmented intelligence works. They will not automatically change your writing (not in all cases); rather, they will highlight and suggest alternatives to the currently constructed writing. 

The decision-making process of some humans can be lacking. We can all agree on that. This is why Elon Musk is investing heavily in both his company Neuralink and, surprisingly enough, its competitors. Neuralink is not a computer that will control your brain; instead, it’s a computer that will enhance current thought capabilities. Its real main purpose, assist those who cannot move their current limbs due to paralyzation or amputation. 

No one wants a rogue robotic arm that can crawl on its own and attack people as we see in horror movies. They need assistive technology that assumes or improves the decisions of a few neurons that control the locomotion of a finger or hand.

Comparison to Human Thought

Similar to the way that we train babies, pets, and other creatures of intelligence, machine learning models are trained based on pattern recognition. They are given a significant amount of data and are then told what pieces of information contain the pattern to identify. It will then compare this pattern to a neutral or control data set. 

Once a model has identified the pattern, it will be able to determine if something is or isn’t part of that pattern. When trained, artificial intelligence can take action and decide for itself what to do with the information you give to it. 

Developers and psychologists designed artificial intelligence based on the way that humans learned as children. People are told what an object is. Then the human brain will ask if another object they are looking at is or is not the same as the first object. Eventually, the brain identifies a pattern in the objects confirming or denying what an item is. 

Augmented intelligence does not have the same capability; it is limited to official choices made by a human, but it can offer alternatives. Another difference between artificial intelligence, human intelligence, and augmented intelligence is that human and augmented intelligence interact with the real world through human experiences. Artificial intelligence experience it’s entirely based on software interpretations and thus lacks emotion currently.

Automation Capability/ Task management

Many of us, especially in the Western culture, fear the idea of a fully autonomous drone or robot army taking over the world like we’ve seen in movies or read about in books. Most current artificial intelligence is entirely software-based and only has the capabilities to interact within certain program parameters. 

Although there are real examples of robots or fully autonomous vehicles, there is still a long way to go to where it is legally viable for companies to remove a steering wheel from a vehicle. The most realistic current example of artificial intelligence and automation running in the real world might not be as fancy as it seems. 

Many manufacturing facilities use artificial intelligence with the assistance of a camera and a small flicking device to remove products that do not meet quality tests before shipment. 

Amazon, Lays Chips, and Sony all use artificial intelligence in automation to improve the delivery times and quality of their products. Augmented intelligence is not limited entirely to software, but the capabilities of a human can have more functionality in the real world today. They improve the output of a human and the quality at which they produce good or complete action. 

Financial reporting software is a common place to find augmented intelligence. It will identify problems in reporting or expenditures that do not make sense in comparison to others. However, it will not take action upon the information. Artificial intelligence that could fire employees at its discretion based on financial spending would be a horrible idea. It would surely question the importance of coffee to a specific employee or executive vacations.


Augmented intelligence offers users great capabilities far beyond that of a normal human. When you are interacting with software, take a look to determine if that software is recommending or taking action for you. This will determine for you whether that software is utilizing artificial or augmented intelligence.

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