The Donkey’s Worry
Race or cooperate with the AI?

Why did you choose this apple and not another? Why did you buy this smartphone when there was another equally good, cheaper one next to it? When there are no criteria for choosing, why do you opt for one of the possibilities? When there is no signpost, what makes you go left instead of right - or vice versa? Each of these questions is an example of Buridan’s ass dilemma, named after a 14th-century French philosopher who saw in the fate of a dumb animal a symbol of many human dilemmas. A hungry and thirsty donkey stands between a haystack and a bucket of water. and unable to choose between them, dies. This decision paralysis is used today to explain the superiority of humans over artificial intelligence.

Humans are not donkeys (at least not all of them) and will always give a justification for their choice, true or made up on the spot. It is different with AI - if it has two or more options without specifying the mode of choice, it gets stupid. Conclusion: AI needs a human to program it, otherwise it will be useless. On the other hand, there are more and more areas where artificial intelligence beats us - chess, CV analysis, forecasts (it predicted the pandemic before humans). However, comparing artificial intelligence to real one does not make sense. Their capabilities are revealed most fully through cooperation, which does not mean duplication of tasks. As John Kelly, director of research at IBM, said, the domain of machines is rational approach and analytical thinking. Humans, on the other hand, bring their judgement, intuition, empathy, moral models and human creativity. Steve Jobs thought similarly: it is written into Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough - only the combination of technology and humanities produces results that make our souls rejoice.

Only a donkey fights AI where its superiority is obvious. Let’s leave the tedious calculations to it and get on with strategic planning and decision making beyond data analysis. Let everyone do what they are best at and put the profits into a common pool. Specialisation is the recipe for success.