Only humans need apply: Adding value to the work of very smart machines
The automation of decisions and actions now threatens even knowledge-worker jobs. Tom Davenport describes both the threat of automation and the promise of augmentationcombining smart machines with smart peopleand explores five roles that individuals can adopt to add value to AI, as well as what these roles mean for businesses.
|Talk Title||Only humans need apply: Adding value to the work of very smart machines|
|Speakers||Tom Davenport (Babson College, MIT)|
|Conference||O’Reilly Artificial Intelligence Conference|
|Location||New York, New York|
|Date||September 26-27, 2016|
Many observers are worried that cognitive technologies and automated decision systems will replace large numbers of workers, including knowledge workers. Key tasks performed by physicians, lawyers, marketers, journalists, and even data scientists are at risk from these technologies. At the same time, cognitive technologies also offer unparalleled opportunity to dramatically improve both key business processes and the human condition. Highly negative predictions are probably unwarranted, at least in the short run. Even relatively administrative jobs (e.g., bank tellers) have shown little decrease in employment over the last 40 years. In addition, smart machines replace specific tasks, not entire jobs. Finally, there will be many new jobs involving working with and alongside intelligent technologies. Drawing on his recent book, Only Humans Need Apply: Winners and Losers in the Age of Smart Machines (Harper Business), Tom Davenport describes both the threat of automation and the promise of augmentation—combining smart machines with smart people—and explores five roles that individuals can adopt to add value to AI, as well as what these roles mean for businesses. Tom also discusses the roles of businesses, organizations, and governments in preparing their employees and citizens to be effective collaborators with intelligent machines. There are valid roles for people in working with smart machines, but they will require significant preparation. Complacency is not an option.