7 responses

  1. Michael Breeden
    September 9, 2018

    Is progress the product of a group working together or one inspired person going where everyone else says not to go? In history, it has been both. I suspect that will be rue in the future as well.
    How odd… You say ” the one thing I constantly hear is that the human element is often the most important.” Yet at another time you also talk about the “digital transformation” that is all the rage in the corporate world and that is the process of automation, getting rid of people.

    Reply

    • Greg Satell
      September 9, 2018

      But that is exactly my point. There is no competitive advantage to using automation simply to cut costs. If those resources, especially human resources, are not deployed into creating value elsewhere then any benefits will be temporary and short lived.

      – Greg

      Reply

  2. Michael Breeden
    September 10, 2018

    Well, that’s not what they are doing. They have companies like Uber in mind or maybe Google where a fairly small number of employees can dominate a market using superior software and generate indecent profits. What they want is “staffing on demand”. They sure as heck don’t want to pay employees. Come on, you read the same stuff I do. Now they are talking about cutting hours – specifically, it was at Amazon warehouses, but you know it’s what they want in other companies if they can cut costs. They are going to cut hours and pay. A lot of people are screaming that they’ve lost their jobs to offshoring and immigrants, but you’ve read that that isn’t really the case either. The main cause is automation and it’s barely kicked in yet. It’s a large part of why the middle class is shrinking. Employees are expensive, machines are efficient.
    You quite reasonably look at the opportunities for businesses and improvements in service, but that isn’t what happens. People wish there was someone to talk to when they call, but there is not.HR software drives people batty, but the HR department is 1/10 the size and far cheaper. That’s how it’s going, cheap, not quality. but I look at the social disruption. I think automation is going to lead to massive job losses.

    Reply

    • Greg Satell
      September 10, 2018

      I’m not sure what you mean by “what they are doing.” For any given context, there are a lot of companies doing lots of different things in lots of different ways. My point is that in talking directly with industry experts, the fairly unanimous consensus is that companies that are successful in implementing new technologies like cloud and AI repurpose talent to create new value. In other articles I have described how some companies are doing just that and increasing profits.

      That doesn’t mean that there aren’t a lot of companies that see automation merely as a way to cut costs, but the fact that we are seeing unprecedented automation and a major labor shortage seems to indicate that automation isn’t killing many jobs.

      – Greg

      Reply

  3. Michael Breeden
    September 10, 2018

    I hope you are right, but my view is different and there is no question but that the middle class is shrinking. I do think it will be amazing what will be possible with AI assist. I just played with an Azure Chatbot to see the possibilities. I’ve always wanted to make an expert system. It was text for an obvious reason, but you could ask it “what it knew”. It would reply which systems it knew, where the servers for the system were, it gave the SQL for tracking job data through the systems as well as querying the logs. While a bit trivial it seemed potentially very useful for maintaining systems. What I really want to see is AI applications to help medical diagnosis. I have been misdiagnosed repeatedly, including recently. … Oh, I’m waiting to see if I won a trivial prize for submitting a design for a medical data system – not for the medical staff at all, but to fulfill the needs of the patient to mitigate the well known dangers of hospital stays.

    Reply

  4. Jivansutra Navachar
    January 14, 2019

    This is one of the best articles which I have read recently on innovation challenges in future. We live in perhaps the greatest age of technological innovation in human history. Yet many people are not experiencing the benefits of this progress, despite actively seeking to more fully participate in and benefit from new educational, financial, and work opportunities. While jobs that were once pathways to guaranteed prosperity have dramatically changed or disappeared, we believe that Inclusive Innovators, wielding technology as a tool, are creating solutions to this challenge today. Your statement that “The challenges we face today will be fundamentally different because they won’t be solved by humans alone but through complex human-machine interactions.”, is a notable point worth mentioning.

    Reply

    • Greg Satell
      January 15, 2019

      Thanks so much! So glad you enjoyed it.

      – Greg

      Reply

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