Humans are Underrated Book Summary - Humans are Underrated Book explained in key points
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Humans are Underrated summary

Geoff Colvin

What High Achievers Know that Brilliant Machines Never Will

4.3 (14 ratings)
17 mins

Brief summary

Humans Are Underrated by Geoff Colvin argues that in a world dominated by automation, the most valuable skills for success are human abilities like empathy, creativity, and communication. The book explores how these "soft skills" are becoming increasingly important and how we can cultivate them in ourselves and others.

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    Humans are Underrated
    Summary of 8 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 8

    Don’t compare yourself to a computer, because you will lose.

    Wouldn’t it be nice to increase your brain power by 100 percent every two years? Impossible, you say.

    But not for computers.

    According to Moore’s law, IT systems increase their computing power by 100 percent every two years. In the long run, that’s a big increase. For example, Sony’s first transistor radio had five transistors and would barely fit into a pocket. Today, Intel’s latest processor has five billion transistors and it fits in the palm of your hand.

    So, will computers become infinitely powerful?

    Not quite. Eventually Moore’s law will end due to sheer physical limitations: you can only fit a finite number of transistors in a certain space. But until that time, you’d better not compare your brain power to a computer.

    In fact, nowadays computers can surpass us in tasks we usually think are uniquely human.

    For example, computers can detect emotions more effectively than humans. Paul Ekman, a famous psychologist, discovered micro-expressions: the minimal movements in your 40 facial muscles that lead to certain expressions. After many years of research, Ekman figured out which of 3,000 different micro-expressions is connected to which emotion. The result is his Facial Action Coding System.

    This is how it works: If you put all this emotional data into a computer equipped with a camera, and point it at a human face, the computer can correctly detect the emotion 85 percent of the time. Whereas humans, even with training, got it right only 55 percent of the time!

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    What is Humans are Underrated about?

    How is the rapidly developing world of computers going to affect our jobs in the future? In Humans Are Underrated (2015), Geoff Colvin explores the ways in which computers will surpass us, and the ways they won’t. He reveals which skills you should build to remain economically viable, and how you can turn the monster of technology to your advantage.

    Humans are Underrated Review

    Humans are Underrated (2015) explores the importance of human skills in the age of automation and artificial intelligence. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It highlights the crucial role of human empathy and social interaction in an increasingly technology-focused world.
    • Backed by research and expert insights, the book provides a compelling case for why skills like collaboration and communication are becoming more valuable than ever.
    • By emphasizing the emotional aspects of work and the power of human connection, the book challenges our perception of what truly makes us irreplaceable.

    Best quote from Humans are Underrated

    People who use social networks seem to become less trusting than people who dont.

    —Geoff Colvin
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    Who should read Humans are Underrated?

    • Anyone interested in the future of technology
    • Employees afraid of being replaced by a computer
    • People who want to cultivate skills that will ensure their future employability

    About the Author

    Geoff Colvin is a journalist, broadcaster, author and speaker who’s written books like The Upside of the Downturn as well as the bestseller Talent is Overrated. He studied at Harvard and received an MBA from New York University.

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    Humans are Underrated FAQs 

    What is the main message of Humans are Underrated?

    The main message of Humans are Underrated is the importance of human skills in a technology-driven world.

    How long does it take to read Humans are Underrated?

    The reading time for Humans are Underrated varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in 15 minutes.

    Is Humans are Underrated a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Humans are Underrated is worth reading for its valuable insights. It explores the future of work and highlights the significance of human abilities.

    Who is the author of Humans are Underrated?

    Geoff Colvin is the author of Humans are Underrated.

    What to read after Humans are Underrated?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Humans are Underrated, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Human Edge by Greg Orme
    • Humility Is The New Smart by Edward D. Hess and Katherine Ludwig
    • Making Sense by Sam Harris
    • Life 3.0 by Max Tegmark
    • Power Questions by Andrew Sobel & Jerold Panas
    • The Robots Are Coming! by Andrés Oppenheimer
    • Power And Prediction by Ajay Agrawal
    • Indistractable by Nir Eyal
    • Effective Decision-Making by Edoardo Binda Zane
    • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams