AI (Art. Intelligence) vs. AI (Appreciative Inquiry)

There is a lot of talk and research on Artificial Intelligence these days and it can either bring fear to someone who could be impacted by it negatively or bring happiness to someone who has a positive impact by AI. When I reflect on AI (Artificial Intelligence) which can have such a significant impact on people, I am reminded of another AI (Appreciative Inquiry) which can have an equal or more impact on people.JIn the words of Stephen Hawking, “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race” and when I read these words I hope that Artificial Intelligence does not reach full development

So what are AI (Artificial Intelligence) and AI (Appreciative Inquiry) and how can they help us? Artificial Intelligence emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans (Technopedia) and Appreciative Inquiry is the co-evolutionary search for the best in people, their organizations, and the relevant world around them (Cooperrider & Whitney, 2001). Even though Artificial Intelligence and Appreciative Inquiry have emerged from different fields, they have some common goals. Some of them are …

– Both are focused on helping people concentrate on their core Purpose in life

– Artificial Intelligence helps people transition from mundane jobs to value generating jobs and Appreciative Inquiry helps people to discover their strengths, successes and periods of excellence.

– Both use some building blocks like Codes or Words – While Artificial Intelligence uses codes to develop applications to help people, Appreciate Inquiry uses words to create strength based worlds through dialogues.

– Both are focused on appreciating the value of people – Artificial Intelligence helps people to scale up the value chain by taking over the non-value added items and Appreciate Inquiry helps people to discover, disclose and deploy their positive capacity.

– Both are focused on triggering imagination for creative potential – The power of Artificial Intelligence give wings to the human imagination to create new possibilities. Appreciative Inquiry helps to imagine new possibilities and envisage a preferred future.

– Both are focused on creating the ideal solution – While Artificial Intelligence creates tools, products and applications that can meet needs of people, Appreciative Inquiry focuses on creating the ideal – “what should be” through people.

– Both are focused on delivering the design – Artificial Intelligence delivers solutions which create the new normal and Appreciative Inquiry is focused on how the design is delivered and embeds into the people networks.

While both Artificial Intelligence and Appreciative Inquiry have some similarities in goals, there is one big difference. While Artificial Intelligence can create fear, Appreciate Inquiry can inspire hope. The power of Artificial Intelligence triggers fear in the minds of people making them call for regulatory oversight on AI, an AI Bill of Rights, need to address moral & ethical issues relating to AI or the ultimate fear of end of human race. Probably we all fear the unknowns of AI, but we certainly can look at how AI (Artificial Intelligence) and AI (Appreciative Inquiry) can help each other.

If the creators of Artificial Intelligence can use the power of Appreciative Inquiry, then the power of Artificial Intelligence can be channelized towards the upliftment, enhancement and appreciation of the human race instead of its end.

What do you think?


Dr. Ragland Gamaliel
Director – Institute of Organization Effectiveness