I was reading an article from the MIT Sloan Review about the Rise of Strategy Machines which really inspired and challenged my view on technology and human evolution. After machine learning and its branches such as deep learning, neural networks, decision tree learning and many others at the core of AI and robotics; I have been asking myself how long it would take to get into strategy automation?

It seems we are not far away from it and on the MIT Sloan’s thought-provoking article there are some references and examples of companies that are actually working on it, perhaps the ones you would not expect.

Every job consisting of repetitive and iterative tasks, processes and even problem solving will be replaced by automation during the next 20 years, perhaps sooner.
Middle management, business administration, finance, logistics, marketing and many others sectors will be impacted.

Where does it leave us? For certain extends it may sound like a disaster.

Luckily, quoting from the article;

Big-picture thinking is one capability at which humans are still – and will continue to be for some time – better than computers.

I’m wondering: are we doing enough to teach future generations on how to think and process big picture? To work impacting the world directly?

Currently, organizations are layered in hierarchies built to implement a vision and offer solutions. The bigger is the scale of that vision, the bigger is the workforce required to bring that offering to market. Conventional educational systems are built to fill these layers.
But the reality is that we are going towards a scenario in which creating a resolution to big problems will need less and less organizational layers, while we will desperately need more individuals able to think big and having the passion to serve themselves at the resolution.

There are many people raising doubts and fears about AI and technology, prospecting a future on which most people in our society will lose their jobs.
While we don’t know in practical terms where such shift will lead us, I believe the key challenge will be to keep our society together in an extremely fast-changing world.

Maybe one of the answers to this challenge could be found in what I believe to be the glue of our society – Education.

Would the conventional educational system be sufficient to raise the next generation of Big-Picture Thinkers?

Additionally, as we are heading towards a society where decision making will be fully driven by data; will humans be fast enough to process big amount of data while still having the decision making under control?

Perhaps a new evolutionary phase has just began, where humans and machines will merge and what scientists like to name as Augmented Age.

To leave you with a great inspirational video, I’d suggest you to watch this TED talk, from Maurice Conti.