Is “man-made” extra interesting than “AI made”?

In the middle of a podcast, a high-energy commercial demonstrates all of the benefits of using a particular language learning system. You are familiar: You can talk to Babbel in just three weeks. It teaches you phrases that you actually use in the real world. Classes are designed to help you remember.

Then a lesser-known selling point:

“Other learning apps use AI for their lesson plans. Babbel lessons were created by over 100 language experts.”

The company magazine’s website further explains:

“Babbel’s teaching is not the result of an algorithm or a computer program. They were designed by real people. Babbel’s didactic team, consisting of more than 100 linguists and language experts, invest a lot of time and care into creating lessons that will actually work for you. “


This formulation of human input as a kind of quality standard is not new – in this case the online article was published in 2017 – but it is becoming more common.

A quick sweep appears Recruiting startup that strongly promotes the fact that it doesn’t use AI to make predictions. This Community of therapists promises not to use algorithms to match clients with professionals. This The social network uses the rejection of algorithms and ads as a unique selling point.

In addition, there are too many dating websites, subscription services, ad sales, finance managers, and recruitment agencies that state outwardly on their websites that they are not using AI or algorithms to do their jobs. The message is very clear. These companies want to emphasize that they are not transferring the most artful part of their business to ill-considered systems. They employ experts to carefully consider the task at hand based on their experience and perhaps their intuition.

“Made by Human” means a quality product.

In a world full of sparkling AI vendors selling their wares at (virtual) conferences, calling data “the new oil” and offering to open the magic gates for companies looking to break out of a pandemic pit, this is it an interesting development. In this world there is room – perhaps plenty of room – for skilled old people and their semantic knowledge.

Copyright: The Simpsons

Does this indicate some type of game? A shift to privilege connoisseurs and subject matter experts? Well the short answer is “unlikely”. Artificial intelligence remains a solid way for companies in all industries to gain efficiency gains, streamline processes, and generally speed things up. In fact, most of the time it is excellent at it. What it can show is that there really is room for both organic and Silicon brains and – far from being out of date – the stock of soft skills and experience is actually increasing.

Data scientists and computer engineers may not inherit Earth after all.

We are often told that with all of the work AI takes from humans, it also creates a vacuum that is filled by new roles and services based on human talents. That these non-AI companies are shouting from the rooftops about their human crews suggests that we biological workers have good reason to be optimistic.

This article was originally published on they The Data by Fiona J McEvoy. She is a tech ethics researcher and founder of

Published on March 7, 2021 – 12:00 UTC

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