Studying the impact of innovation on business and society

A Real-Time Conversation About AI and the Future of Work

 I recently had one of the most fast-paced, fun and provocative conversations I had in a while. It wasn’t something that happened in IRL. Instead, this real-time conversation took place on Twitter.  Organized by Cognizant and Pega prior to #Pegaworld, I joined Ben Pring, author of What To Do When Machines do Everything as well as Cogizant and Pega executives and AI/FoW experts on Twitter, to discuss the unfolding reality of  AI and its role in the future of work. And, more importantly, we also explored the overall impact on the future of business.

Seriously. This was an action-packed event. While there were only 8 questions, the answers from Ben, me, along with those from Cognizant, Pega and all who participated, were as fast and furious as they were deep and meaningful.

I wanted to share at least my stream of answers with you. I also included the full Twitter Moments below. I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Together, we can shape the future of AI, machine learning and the future of business.


1: This is a hot topic now. @BrianSolis how are you thinking about #FutureofWork in relation to business?

I can’t emphasize the importance of #FutureofWork. Much of my work centers on #AI #Millennials #Culture #DigitalTransformation.

I see all too often that #futureofwork planning is disconnected with disparate groups plotting their own courses focused on tech.

My work bridges the gap between real world trends inside/outside organizations to humanize trends for execs to appreciate change.

2: What problems are businesses trying to solve for today?  

I don’t want to give you the usual answers. I’d like to talk about what they’re not solving. #1 They miss the #humanquotient.

We miss the #humanquotient in #FoW as execs make decisions respective to depts (HR/IT/MKTG/etc). We need to understand people+behavior 1st.

In my research (6 Stages of #DigitalTransformation) I found that initially, executives solve for short-term issues to survive.

Many solve for cloud, #CX #EX #AI #ChatBots #MachineLearning #Automation, but without orchestration, #futureofwork is limited.

3: How should organizations be preparing for the Future of Work?

We’re passed preparation. We are in #uhoh territory and need to make up for lost time. To move forward, we need #unity + #vision.

#digitalliteracy where organizations must prepare. This also needs to be at an individual level…this is where stuff gets real.

Most executives don’t live their company the way that new employees and customers do. There’s an emotional and physical gap.

What we’re talking about is a mindset shift from #legacy to that of #innovation & to get there requires a shift in perspective.

4: What technologies should companies be adopting now, to sustain for the future?  How can #automation #AI help with higher value work, improved decision making, and improved CX?

#AI #machinelearning #automation is designed to replace & displace jobs. That’s the story of technology. Expect now it’s faster.

This isn’t a death sentence. #AI #machinelearning #automation like everything, require vision and architecture+new jobs flourish.

Tech is only part of the solution. #digitaltransformation implies digital only. The future of digital requires humans/humanity.

In a world of #AI #machines & #robots, #humanity will be the killer app!  #futureofwork.

5: How can #automation #AI help with higher value work, improved decision making, and improved CX? #ChatFOW

#ArtificialIntelligence can help strategists answer qs typically blinded by cognitive biases. People can’t see change w/o help.

The challenges facing #DigitalTransformation #CX #decisionmaking are mostly human. I call it the #HumanQuotient. #AI can help.

#HumanQuotient is a problem & solution. Politics, egos, doubt, self-preservation stand in the way of progress. #AI has no agenda.

#ArtificialIntelligence can assist executives + employees to challenge their own beliefs & values to learn/unlearn how to evolve.

#AI #Automation can help execs optimize experiences, automate decision making + assume new/existing tasks to free up brain power.

6: What skills are workers going to need in the future?

The 1st skill is a mindset shift to see #FOW is limited by our beliefs/experience.  Machines + new experiences are coming anyway.

HR+management must analyze the future of #AI #Automation + digital trends & audit internal expertise to uncover missing talents.

#artificialintelligence is coming for white collar jobs. Mgmt/#HR must assess workforce to learn who’ll be displaced/replaced.

Upon completing an #AI #Automation #talent horizon audit, execs can strategically plan for training/retraining/hiring roadmaps.

7: Which companies have used robots #automation #AI effectively?

#AI #Robots #Automation aren’t new. They’re evolving, becoming more capable. #Chatbots #bots are the media darlings but…#yawn.

#AI #machinelearning is advancing in the #Autonomous world. @Intel @Nvidia @Waymo @Tesla & many more –> Read this report on “The State and Future of Autonomous Vehicles.

#AI is everywhere! There are everyday services, i.e. Alexa, Siri, Cortana, Nest to behind-the-scenes i.e., Netflix, Pandora, etc.

I recently finished a paper with @kahuna exploring #ArtificialIntelligence in #moderncommerce #retail to proactively enhance #CX.

We cant forget to mention the @IBM Watson @Softbank #Pepper robot & the work that’s already underway in #retail #hospitality #CX.

8: What’s the most urgent thing businesses need to do to kickstart their #DigitalTransformation?

Without purpose & human-centered design, #AI + #DigitalTransformation efforts will radically hamper #futureofwork + #innovation.

If you ask people if future #AI will take jobs, they’ll say yes! If you ask them if #AI will take their job, crickets #Denial.

The reality is that #AI + #Automation will make many jobs obsolete. This is as much a #FutureofWork challenge as it is personal.

What we know as execs/employees/humans is based on legacy foundations that are eroding. We all have to learn/unlearn to compete.

Education + empowerment is critical right now & that must come from the top. We must update what/how we learn & measure success.

The #HumanQuotient must take center stage in tech/talent/expertise audits + SWOT to prioritize education/innovation investments.

As businesses unlearn/learn/grow, education must never stop. Orgs must also give back to schools to train tomorrow’s workforce.

Iterate AND innovate now…and, quickly…again and again.


About Brian

Brian Solis is principal analyst and futurist at Altimeter, the digital analyst group at Prophet, Brian is world renowned keynote speaker and 7x best-selling author. His latest book, X: Where Business Meets Designexplores the future of brand and customer engagement through experience design. Invite him to speak at your event or bring him in to inspire and change executive mindsets.

Connect with Brian!

Twitter: @briansolis
Facebook: TheBrianSolis
LinkedIn: BrianSolis
Instagram: BrianSolis
Youtube: BrianSolisTV
Snapchat: BrianSolis









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