As the secretive google “brain” project, headed by utopian futurist Ray Kurzweil and a bevy of like-minded believers in the singularity “progresses”, humans will become extinct (absorbed, or “evolved” to use their terms into machines). Ray’s forecasted date for the singularity is 2045.
Well, there's something to ponder. I'm so curious as to why no one wants to talk about the consequences of this. Ever since I read Bill Joy's article in 2000, few discussions about our societal trajectory occur. If we're afraid to do so, then Hawking and Gates are right.
As we approach 2045, you can imagine the societal chaos. The priciest tickets ever will be sold for the spectacle of "its" birth. The ultimate suicide event. Imagine the ratings.
On the weigh-station to that madness will be numerous intermediate steps, including:
- the creation of hybrid, transgenic animal life forms (already been done)
- the development of self-replicating nanobots from cellular biology (oops... already done)
- the development of...
The current, daily chaos expressed in our diagram above is simple when compared to our future.
Nonetheless, chaos is damaging your people, culture, and productivity every day. We believe there is an antidote to the chaos. It's old school and certainly not tech-sexy. But as long as we're still biological organisms, and the apex predator on earth, we should make the most of our most valuable resources... aka our people.
And we acknowledge that changes, predominantly triggered by technological innovation, will continue to cause enormous strain, leaving people susceptible to escapism, addictions, or worse. We humans need help with the chaos.
As artificial intelligence and automation displace millions of jobs (lives), the inevitable layoffs and career gaps will occur… in droves. You, your spouse, family members, neighbors, and millions of others will feel the impersonal wrath of technology’s progressive march.
There's no better time to build unbreakable bonds of trust.
At the foundation of our challenge is the accelerating pace of change. To illustrate this, imagine an Olympic half pipe. It slopes up gradually from the bottom, but like a graphic asymptote, eventually curves up to vertical. Try climbing up the sides. You'll get part way up, then slip back down. Now imagine doing this with all of humanity at the same time.
This is happening in society now. As the slope (pace) gets steeper, fewer and fewer people can scale the vertical. The painful secondary effect is that the degrees of separation between people is accelerating. Let's expand this. We’ll refer to technology as “IT” below.
Degrees of Separation – expanding gaps
- a machine expert in IT (we cannot read their language - we are illiterate and slow)
- a human expert in IT (has special capabilities and speed most professionals will never reach)
- a seasoned resource in IT (has probably invested years developing their skills)
- a novice in IT (most of us around anything new... get in ankle deep... unqualified to do it for a living)
- a resource who’s read about IT (most dangerous people out there, don't know what they don't know)
- someone aware of IT (actually, the most dangerous people, they really don't know what they don't know)
- someone unaware of IT (oblivious or ignorant, not their fault but most people aren't curious enough)
- someone unable to understand IT (could be a paradigm, scotoma, old age, youth, disease, IQ, etc.)
- people still learning how to learn (at least they've got a chance at moving up the scale)
- an uneducated person (myriad of reasons apply - some self-determined, some not)
Pause and absorb this for a moment. Gaps exist for all of us. Not only are the number of steps in the degrees of separation expanding, so is the gap size between each degree (step). The by-product of this situation is increased ignorance. Paradoxically, as information floods the world, we are becoming more ignorant.
Say what? Please explain.
Let's use "I" to represent the total amount of global information, and "K" to represent an individual's total knowledge. In the year 2000 let's say "I" = 100, and my "K" = 1 (optimistic). That would mean I know 1% of all the information in the world in 2000. LOL
By the year 2020, let's say "I" = 1000 (conservative), and my "K" = 2 (also optimistic). By 2020, my knowledge of the world has dropped to 0.2%. Oops.
When you include machines in this example, it becomes clear that machines will outscore humans (they already do in chess) in many fields, and the gap between us ignorant humans and the advanced computers is growing every day, at an accelerating pace.
This analysis doesn't even consider the paradox that information availability doesn't always result in human learning. I often tease my daughters about their (past) boyfriends ignorance about the health perils of vaping, when the information is readily available.
So, ignorance is increasing. No doubt about it.
More and more of this information is being stored in a computer, and not in your brain. And more and more of the learning taking place in the world is occurring inside computers... in language we can't read (illiterate), at a speed we cannot fathom.
Each degree of separation makes the communication, the culture, and the real and perceived differences between people larger. We've all heard that technology is a connecting force; that a "wired" world benefits all. It's primary by-product is accelerating the sharing of knowledge (no rating on the quality of it). A net gain in knowledge available to all.
But, as information availability floods the world, it has enabled some (or a few) to know far more than others... increasing the degrees of separation, while it simultaneously widens the gaps for the vast majority.
Degrees of separation in knowledge makes us feel a bit like the space-walking astronaut whose spaceship just made the jump to lightspeed. What about me? Uh… see you later? Help! Got lots of time to think about your predicament.
How does this relate to humans, chaos, and leadership?
Every productive person wants to be valued for their knowledge and contributions. As gaps grow between them and other resources, and them and machines in the future, their self-worth is challenged. As more artificial intelligence and automation enters the workforce, their anxiety will deepen. Many enterprises have had to make decisions to displace traditional jobs with technology.
The annual Edelman Survey shows the foundation of any successful enterprise, human trust, has been on the decline for years. It is near crisis levels. How can your leaders operate effectively when their foundation is liquefying?
Degrees of separation dynamics are affecting the stress, confidence, and self-worth of your employees. Eroding trust is impacting productivity and performance.
Chaos deserves an anti-chaos counter-force. And technology disruption deserves a counter... a human disruption.
This is not a tactical undertaking. It is more strategic than any merger, capital investment, or new product or market. You need an approach just as disruptive and powerful as the technology tsunami.
The building of unstoppable, fearless human teams is well known to a group whose #1 job duty is to step into chaos... our military special forces.
Your people didn’t sign up for boot camp. Good thing they don’t have to... to receive the transformative benefits of a program which builds unbreakable bonds of trust and ignites innovation. Our program ranks at the very top of customer satisfaction ratings, based on the NetPromoter method.
A few days with your team in our special forces inspired and led program will ensure your future as an elite operating unit.
It’s time to defeat chaos. We are the anti-chaos leadership program.
Next time… how to be powered by humans.