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The Future Of Man And Machine: Bot And Human Collaboration

With advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence, it only makes sense that developers and engineers would combine these functions with automation to create interactive self-driving devices that can take on tasks currently performed by humans. These devices, popularly coined as “bots,” are chat-driven and are programmed to deliver services or repetitive tasks at far greater speed and accuracy than their human counterparts. As a result, many people fear that a bot-driven economy will eradicate jobs and take over the workforce. History suggests, however, that the economy will thrive and the future will rely upon bot and human collaboration.

The Case for a Collaborative Workforce


There is already evidence that the addition of bots to the labor pool will drive the creation of innovative positions for humans rather than eradicate jobs. There will certainly be a shift in the types of jobs to be filled by humans, but if one looks at some of the newest startups, particularly Uber, they will see a perfect example of the collaborative effort that makes the company so successful.

While bots can perform tasks at speeds that outpace humans, they are not problem solvers. At a very base level, bots are only as intelligent as the humans who create them and, while they can be programmed to apply cognitive functions that will make them indispensable, they are not able to quickly sift through a set of variables to find possible outcomes in the same manner that a human can. Simply put, bots rely on extensive data from past scenarios to create a response, whereas humans have the ability to solve problems under unique circumstances. To that end, bots will actually improve human performance, but will not be capable of fully replacing humans in the workforce.

Innovation Creates Expansion


If one looks at how mechanization re-shaped farming and agriculture, it is easy to see how bots and humans working together can expand the economy and improve living conditions. In the 1800’s, it took 80 percent of the U.S. labor force to work on farms and produce food that was far more expensive compared to income than food is today. Today, only 2 percent of the labor pool works in farming, yet that has not left the other 78 percent jobless. Instead, new job types were created and people transitioned as there was more disposable income to spend on other things.

The addition of bots is going to revolutionize the work arena much like mechanization changed farming. As humans and bots work and grow together, costs are going to come down, which will leave room for growth in the economy. If the cost of doing business in America comes down for example, the country can look forward to offshore companies re-settling here, which will be followed by increased growth in sectors requiring the human element as people will have more disposable income.

The other side of the innovation coin is that more of our time and resources will be freed up through collaboration with bots. We will become more empowered as bots learn to self-drive and remove much of the administrative burden from humans. They will help enhance the problem-solving capability of humans, helping them find newer, better ways of doing things and create new technologies that will continue to inspire economic growth.

Embracing a Future of Man and Machine


Learning to collaborate with bots is what will keep the human element firmly entrenched in the workforce. People who embrace change, expand their knowledge and remain capable of adaptive thinking and problem-solving will find themselves in challenging new positions while bots take over the routine, repetitive tasks that tend to stifle creativity and limit progress. The future of man and machine holds great promise for entrepreneurial spirit, innovation and risk-taking.