I was reading an article from the MIT Sloan Review about the Rise of Strategy Machines, which inspired and challenged my view on technology and human evolution.
I have been wondering:
Once machine learning and its branches such as deep learning, neural networks, decision tree learning, and many others at the core of AI and robotics would become the standard; How long would it 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 other sectors will be impacted.
Where does it leave us? 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 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 more significant 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. In contrast, we will desperately need more individuals able to think big and have a sense of accountability, independence, and determination required to resolve problems autonomously.
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 a 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 data will fully drive decision making, will humans be fast enough to process a significant amount of data while still having the decision making under control?
Perhaps a new evolutionary phase has just begun, 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 watch this TED talk from Maurice Conti.