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Human + Machine summary

Paul R. Daugherty & H. James Wilson

Reimagining Work in the Age of AI

3.7 (118 ratings)
9 mins

Brief summary

Human + Machine explores the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance human capabilities and transform industries. The book offers practical guidance on how to integrate AI into business strategies for maximum impact.

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    Human + Machine
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    Navigating the renaissance of human-machine collaboration in industry

    In the evolving landscape of industrial settings, a revolution is quietly underway. The very nature of work and the capabilities of the workforce are undergoing a profound transformation. For years, automation and robotics have presented a double-edged sword, enhancing productivity but also leading to job losses. Now, however, artificial intelligence – AI – is heralding a new era of human-machine collaboration, creating opportunities for a renaissance in human labor.

    Envision robotic arms in factories, learning tasks autonomously through deep reinforcement learning. FANUC, the group of Japanese robotics companies, are a prime example. Their robotic arms master tasks overnight, freeing up engineers to focus on more complex challenges. Similarly, company Rethink Robotics has developed robotic arms equipped with sensors, capable of adapting to different tasks, ensuring safer and more efficient collaboration with human workers on the assembly line.

    On another front, AI systems are making waves in maintenance and research and development. GE’s software platform Predix, for instance, utilizes predictive maintenance, enhanced R&D from sensor data, and digital twin simulations, whereby a digital model of a physical product simulates its physical lifecycle. This liberates maintenance workers, engineers, and managers from routine tasks and enables them to engage in more fulfilling work.

    Warehouse and factory floor operations aren’t left behind, either. AI bots, growing ever more dexterous, are also optimizing for space and efficiency. The warehouse robots of robotics warehouse automation company Symbotic can adapt to packages of varying shapes, allowing smaller urban warehouses and a reduced need for space.

    In supply chain management, machine learning is proving to be a game-changer, enhancing demand forecasting, inventory control, and warehouse automation. Major companies, such as Procter & Gamble, are at the forefront, aiming to save billions through AI-enabled supply chains.

    The agricultural sector is also reaping the benefits of AI, with precision agriculture leveraging diverse data sources — from satellites to weather forecasts — to optimize the use of water, fertilizer, and pesticides. This not only boosts efficiency but increases crop yields. Innovative agricultural models, such as vertical farming, utilize AI to meticulously control indoor growing conditions, which further enhances production.

    Despite the strides made, it’s crucial to acknowledge that automation will continue to displace certain jobs. However, it also paves the way for new roles and opportunities, particularly in human-machine collaboration. It's time for executives to reimagine processes and employee roles, capitalizing on AI's capabilities. In doing so, workers can channel their uniquely human strengths — adaptability, creativity, and judgment — into forging a future where machines and humans work together in harmony.

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    What is Human + Machine about?

    Human + Machine (2018) explores the transformative impact of artificial intelligence on the workforce, presenting a vision where human and machine collaboration enhances innovation, efficiency, and productivity. It delves into the changing landscape of various industries due to AI integration, emphasizing the new skills and roles that will become essential.

    Human + Machine Review

    Human + Machine (2018) explores the future of work in the age of AI, showing how humans and machines can collaborate to achieve better results. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Offers a compelling vision for the future of work, emphasizing the potential of human-machine collaboration and debunking fears of job displacement.
    • Presents real-life case studies that demonstrate the transformative power of AI, showcasing its applications in various industries and inspiring readers with new possibilities.
    • Provides valuable insights on how to leverage AI to enhance creativity, decision-making, and productivity, equipping readers with practical strategies for success in the AI age.

    Who should read Human + Machine?

    • Business leaders looking to integrate artificial intelligence into their operations
    • Technology enthusiasts 
    • Students and recent graduates looking to prepare for and navigate the future job market

    About the Author

    Paul R. Daugherty is the chief technology and innovation officer at Accenture, where he oversees the company’s technology strategy and innovation architecture. He is recognized for his expertise in areas such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and digital transformation. Together with co-author H. James Wilson, he published Radically Human: How New Technology Is Transforming Business and Shaping Our Future.

    James Wilson is a managing director at Accenture, focusing on research and thought leadership in the areas of artificial intelligence, robotics, and the future of work. He has co-authored several influential articles and reports on these topics, contributing to the discourse on how technology is reshaping industries and employment.

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    Human + Machine FAQs 

    What is the main message of Human + Machine?

    The main message of Human + Machine is the power of collaboration between humans and AI to drive innovation and achieve remarkable outcomes.

    How long does it take to read Human + Machine?

    The reading time for Human + Machine varies depending on the reader's speed but typically takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Human + Machine a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Human + Machine is definitely worth reading. It provides valuable insights on how humans and AI can work together to create a future filled with opportunities and growth.

    Who is the author of Human + Machine?

    The authors of Human + Machine are Paul R. Daugherty and H. James Wilson.

    What to read after Human + Machine?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Human + Machine, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • Understanding Artificial Intelligence by Nicolas Sabouret
    • Leading from the Middle by Scott Mautz
    • The Upside of Uncertainty by Nathan Furr & Susannah Harmon Furr
    • The Age of AI by Henry Kissinger
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