“We should all wear Batman suits”

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The power of our believes of who we are is strongly linked to how we perform, according to Predrag Petrovic, Associate Prof. in Cognitive Neuro Science at Karolinska Institutet. At Cognizant Snapshot Breakfast he shared insights from his research on how the brain processes information on a system level and how it relates to behavior.

Did you know that most businesses rely on findings from the fifties when it comes to understanding how humans process information? The same goes for HR departments. They haven’t adapted at all to the progress in behavioral science when it comes to testing suitable candidates for CxO positions; the tests they use might say something about personality but not capacity.

As one of few in the world, Predrag Petrovic is researching about what higher cognitive functions that are required to become a great leader, such as the abilities to process a lot of information at speed and to express yourself. What his tests can measure in 1–2 hours, is directly related to the capabilities co-workers witness about after having worked with a person for a couple of years. How can a progressive HR department use the findings? Since it’s about complex cognitive research, they should cooperate with experts within the field.

Predrag Petrovic also shared some insights from his research about the brain and predications – an area that can help us understand customer expectations:

  • The brain is a prediction machine that interprets input according to its model of the world. Our goals, knowledge and expectations thus determine how the brain experiences the incoming signals.
  • Every time your model doesn’t match the input, you’ll get an error signal – and this is something that can help us understand expectations.
  • Experiments show that when we lack information, we tend to compensate for the missing pieces so that what we see suits our expectations.
  • We know that humans interact very differently if they think they interact with a machine. Think about when you know that you’re interacting with a chatbot; you might speak loader and clearer, be more precise in what you say, etc.
  • The more person-like we make the machines, the more our brains will process it as interacting with a real human being. Consequently, this is probably the right direction to go when developing customer-facing machines.
  • The way computers process information is very different from how the brain processes information. By understanding the difference between AI and how the brain works, companies can develop more appealing solutions.

Neuro science is a modern research area, and companies’ understanding of expectations is still in its infancy. Whoever manages to use the new insights and bridge that gap, will be better positioned to develop products and services that meet customer expectations. Until then, we can all work on becoming our own superheroes – put on a Batman suit, expect a better result, and achieve more.

Watch Predrag’s whole session here.

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