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What is HuaaS?

What is HuaaS?
14.09.2020

Acknowledged by a limited number of people within the global business ecosystem, HuaaS, short for Human Intelligence as a Service, stands for a business model in which human competencies are offered as a service. The HuaaS model is based upon the fact that artificial intelligence can only operate through human precepts and cannot possess any human competencies, including interpretation, prediction, creativity.

In order to better tackle the start point of the business model, let us remind you of the words of artificial intelligence algorithm OpenAI GPT-3:

"Artificial intelligence programs lack consciousness and self-awareness. They will never be able to have a sense of humor. They will never be able to appreciate art, or beauty or love. They will never feel lonely. They will never have empathy for other people, for animals, for the environment. They will never enjoy music or fall in love, or cry at the drop of a hat. No matter how good our computers get at winning games like Go or Jeopardy, we don’t live by the rules of those games. Our minds are much, much bigger than that"

Based on mental muscle strength, rather than the physical one.

Consciousness and self-awareness mentioned in the quote above are the outcomes of creativity, which is intrinsic to human intelligence. Artificial intelligence, on the other hand, is a structure in which human plays the role of instructor. Through its algorithms, it answers to the questions, both identified in the database by humans. In other words, it gives answers to the questions already asked. By doing so, it can flawlessly perform actions that don't require creativity and can be carried out using mathematics, including vehicle operation. HuaaS business model focuses on transforming business lines that are not based on linear mathematics and need to be reconfigured every time, into services.

It is of critical importance to tell the difference between Human Intelligence as a Service and the Human as a Service. Although these two business models have similar connotations, the Human as a Service does not position the human mind but the muscle skills of the human body as a service. Uber is one of the most popular and current example of this model. Providing a platform through software where users who need a means of transportation have access to other users who will meet this demand, Uber offers machine operation skill as a service where autonomous vehicles can perform the same operation, and humans only play the role of the medium. This means that if autonomous vehicles more frequently roam in traffic, it will be inevitable that Uber drivers' area of operation comes to an end. Business lines such as legal consultancy, academic article writing, creating original content are the competencies relying on mental muscle strength and can be offered as a service through the use of Human Intelligence as a Service business model.

Human intelligence as a crowdsource

HuaaS business model is closely associated with the notion of “crowdsource”, which is the operation principle of many social media platforms today. Twitter, as an example of crowdsourcing, creates a flow to its users by offering the content created by its members and sources the service from its crowded user community. HuaaS business model uses the competences of human intelligence as a source of crowdsourcing. Taking down the individual consulting model and bringing many people together, it combines these competencies and offers them to end-users as a package-based service.

This reveals the most important difference between this model and the Software as a Service (SaaS) model. The SaaS is a business model that remotely accesses software and is used by paying on a monthly basis or pay as you go basis. Identified answers to the questions previously asked are offered to the end-users.  However, a software in the HuaaS model serves as a means of communication, rather than a service. The end-user places demands and purchases by means of the software, without dealing with the human source delivering the service, receiving human competencies as a service, which is something that cannot be delivered by software or artificial intelligence.

The First HuaaS Attempt: Amazon Mechanical Turk

Amazon Mechanical Turk is a system introduced to users by Amazon.com in 2005. Amazon Mechanical Turk was named after the automated chess machine (The Turk: Automaton Chess Player), which seems to play chess but repeats the moves of the chess player hidden inside the machine, and it is acknowledged as the first attempt to realize the HuaaS business model. It is based on the principle of making the employees, acting as freelancers, to perform the tasks which cannot be performed by the systems and machines, and require human labor. The software consists of a structure in which the requesters post a job, freelancers apply to the post, and those selected freelancers perform the tasks posted by the requester in exchange for a service charge. These tasks may include filling out a survey, creating content, or sending feedback on the quality of a video record. However, Amazon Mechanical Turk has not been made great progress in the professional arena because a person's competency depends on individual statements, and Amazon is positioned as an intermediary software rather than a service provider.

The First Example of HuaaS in Europe: B2Press Online PR Service

The definition and working principle of the HuaaS business model is essentially simple, but it requires a meticulous organization in the application. At this point, it would be helpful to describe how the business model works, using an existing and operating organization.

The first application of the HuaaS business model in Europe is the Online PR Service B2Press. Operating under the umbrella of Unusual Enterprise B.V. based in Utrecht/Netherlands, B2Press started its activities in 2016 as Europe's first-ever online PR agency that offers the services obtained from traditional PR agencies upon adoption of the HuaaS business model.

Carrying out PR activities in more than 30 countries and 23 languages, including press release writing, distributing, media monitoring and reporting, the online PR service employs professional account managers, journalists, editors, and analysts for each step of the process, which cannot be carried out using artificial intelligence. This professional team, also called as crowdsource, does not deal with the end-user to which they offer services. The service uses a request form to pass on demands, and the account manager assigned to the account requests a brief to be sent to the editorial team. Once the process is completed, the user is notified and requested to approve the press releases for distribution. Following the distribution, media analysts prepare detailed media coverage reports. This service is charged based on the pay as you go model, allowing users to pay as much as they use the service when they need it.

The only human-based business model of the future

As revealed by the B2Press case, artificial intelligence will never possess the competencies of human intelligence in tasks requiring interpretation, prediction, and creativity, such as creating original content, writing articles, consulting, etc. This, in fact, answers the question of "Will artificial intelligence take away our jobs?", something we want to know since the inception of digital transformation.

We are all ears of the words of Barış Özcan, the storyteller, regarding the future of artificial intelligence.

"Assuming that we make the analogy between artificial intelligence and a baby, a child of all humanity. We started to raise and educate this baby. This virtual baby of ours, which is equipped with artificial intelligence, will it become a dutiful child in the future or cause trouble by taking away our jobs? We still hold the answer to this question in our hands."

Based on the hypothesis that the probability of artificial intelligence taking away our jobs lies in our hands, we may predict that competent people get jobs and survive in the future. In this case, the definition of competency would evolve to include the potential of thinking creatively, asking questions, and doing more than what a machine or artificial intelligence can do. The most important takeaway about the future would be that humans are required to improve their intelligence in a way that outsmarts the machine. Although the Software as a Service and the Machine as a Service are considered the future business models, it is inevitable that human intelligence, which will take over when the competencies of the machine and artificial intelligence become limited, will make the HuaaS as the only human-based business model in the future.

Shedding a bright light into the future, the model also delivers an important message to today's world: No matter how the technology advances, the lines of business that intend to survive in the future should offer human competences as a digital service, rather than direct consulting with face-to-face communication.

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