We all know Big Blue can beat anyone at chess, based on parsing billions of calculations and having a dedicated team of people at its side, soothing its fears and oiling its parts.
We have seen the Japanese robots that can play football, mimic emotions and offer us succour. They too have an army of humans puppeteering from the shadows.
And now, we have simple, preprogrammed robots who can self-organize. Self-organize. Leave them in a room for a few hours, come back in and – bam! – a star!
These kilobots are collaborating. Let me repeat – they SELF-ORGANIZE!
They are “learning to learn.” This is a magical moment in the history of robotics. And whilst we tend towards sci-fi outcomes in our minds, I am reminded that automation is already replacing a fair percentage of jobs – ones where systems and processes can be implemented and robots can execute precisely 24/7.
Now, we have robots that can learn – will they also be replacing knowledge workers soon too, the workers who rely on complex issues to justify their organizational existence?
The Future of Work is an onerous place – exhilarating at the frontier of change and tech / org advance; fearful at the back of the pack as outsourcing and automation sweeps away the famed “middle classes” of the West.
The need to move up the value chain is never more apparent to me. Gotta keep moving forward!
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