3 Business Benefits of Human-Centered AI Systems

Organizations globally are using AI to accelerate digital transformation, keep up with change as a constant and build a more sustainable future for their business. The benefits of AI are already surpassing expectations, with 61% of employees saying it boosts productivity and 44% of companies reporting cost savings.1

But as organizations move towards automating with AI, they have to remember the importance of keeping humans at the center of all processes. Human-centered AI is not about replacing humans rather using AI’s capabilities to empower them.

To get the most out of AI, organizations will need to build systems where humans and AI collaborate to:

  • Jointly decide which actions will be executed by AI and humans.
  • Coordinate actions over time and space.
  • Achieve goals together.

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The Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium Petra De Sutter says, “AI is just one way to deliver transformative change with a human touch.”2

Why Human-Centered AI Design is Critical in Business

In human-centered AI, humans are at the center of the design and build process. This allows human-AI systems to take advantage of the strengths of both humans and machines, enables collaboration between them and reduces the blind spots of both.

Some of the characteristics of human-centered AI are:


  • Focuses on people’s well-being.
  • Integrating seamlessly into human workflows.
  • Improving human experience.
  • Bridging the gap between machines and humans for the benefit of both.
  • Learning from human input and collaboration.
  • Co-exists within the larger business ecosystem.


Human-centered AI (HCAI) are systems that continually improve with feedback with the goal of understanding human language, emotion and behavior. In this sense, HCAI is very distinct from AI and pushes the boundaries of what AI can become.

The potential for HCAI in business is that by making the connection between humans and machines, these systems can understand the deeper needs, motivations and drivers that underpin business, marketplaces and industries.

Companies can gain specific insights, such as about customer behavior, by applying advanced contextual analytics, data and behavioral science. The results can be granular customer experiences. Businesses can deliver precise strategies when they know what their customers expect.

Keeping Humans in the Loop

As organizations race to adopt AI, they have taken two very different approaches. One is designed for machine autonomy which assumes that machines can make autonomous decisions swiftly and accurately without human interventions.

The human-centered approach responds to machine autonomy by claiming that machines cannot match human attributes like creativity. In this approach, humans are in the driver’s seat, guiding the algorithm to complement and strengthen their work.

Human-centered design is critical to keep human well-being at the center of human and AI collaboration. Some of the characteristics of the human-in-loop AI systems include:


  • Prioritize human agency and take into account human preferences, tastes and thoughts.
  • Builds a design that is granular by breaking up tasks to integrate human touch-points instead of an all-or-nothing system.
  • Contains interfaces that extend human capabilities — tools that humans can learn to use instead of oracles that give an answer without an explanation.


The benefits of keeping humans in the loop of AI system design are:


  • Building a transparent system: keeping humans in the loop will ensure the system is transparent as it includes human interactions and necessitates that humans understand the system and can take required actions. Resultantly, humans and AI undertake a task collaboratively, leaving little room for a blockbox system.
  • Incorporating common sense: the main purpose of human-AI systems is to help people, more so than effectiveness or accuracy. A human-in-the-loop system puts people in charge and values their thoughts, opinions and preferences.
  • Leaving scope for improvement: by including human intelligence, acumen and interaction in the system, the AI algorithm doesn’t have to be perfect. It only needs to learn from human interventions.
  • Empowering more powerful systems: human-in-the-loop design improves on both fully automated and fully manual systems. In this design method, the right human interaction will improve the system over time — and it will become better than what was built initially.

3 Business Benefits of Human-Centered AI


  • Informed decision making: human and AI collaboration enhances people’s capabilities. The combination of machine learning with human input and values in human-centered AI allows businesses to make more accurate decisions, develop long-term, credible strategies and come up with creative solutions to challenging problems.
  • Scalability: by understanding how humans think, human-centric AI can apply its processes to large data-sets. This way the machine does the computational heavy lifting with cognitive interventions from humans. Businesses can expand their processes without compromising the integrity of the data, the process or increasing the use of human resources.
  • Building more user-friendly products: by integrating behavioral science with AI, human-centered AI allows businesses to gain insights into behavioral patterns and motivations of the user. For companies, human-centered AI is an opportunity to build more informed, useful and rewarding products.

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