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July 17, 2019

AI and the future of work – Why it’s time to celebrate human failure | rent24 Global

There is no reason to be afraid of algorithms and big data. If we face a much greater fear – the fear of making mistakes. We’re exploring today’s zero-error culture and the innovation potential of human mankind in the fourth industrial revolution. Read the full story and unleash your true innovation capacity. 

Artificial new world

The World Economic Forum (WEF) expects nearly 75 million jobs worldwide to be displaced due to AI and automation, leaving only 58 million people at work. While researchers have pointed out the dangers of unemployment through AI, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) also identified the major abilities that will remain in demand.

In 2018, the organization investigated the human skillset and the associated challenges triggered by Artificial Intelligence (AI). In the comprehensive study “Automation, skills use and training” researchers concluded: It is creative intelligence, among other traits, that is supposed to make a major difference in the future global job market.

The driver behind all human progress

It is not new to identify creativity being the key driver behind all human progress. Creativity has been the Holy Grail of the professional world for at least since the rise of the creative class, postulated by Richard Florida in 2002.

The term is still going strong. However, taking recent developments into account, AI seems to demonstrate an endless potential to make enterprises more productive.  They are even entering the field of creativity: In 2016, Japanese agency McCann debuted their first AI-led ad, a commercial for mint candies, based on big data. In several test scenarios, the ad was well-received.

Humans have human qualities

It is tempting to believe that machines are capable of imitating human emotions, but can they be inventive? Are they capable of generating an original artistic expression? The term “artificial intelligence” reveals that this intelligence copies what human intelligence has already invented.

As American design thinking pioneer Bruce Nussbaum puts it “creativity is about knowing what’s important to people”. It means intelligently linking disparate things together and finding a purposeful solution that not everyone and certainly not a computer comes up with. Instead, a computer needs clear results that it can count on.

Specifically, the intention to be creative differentiates us from machines. Machines do not pursue or plan a creative process. On the contrary, humans try things out in the hope of creating something completely new. 

The doom of today’s zero-error culture

From a management perspective, the question remains how creativity can be fostered within an organization in the fourth industrial revolution. The answer is that we simply must bring in exactly what distinguishes us from machines and AI. Our pioneering spirit and our ability to push the boundaries of today.

The reality is that we are still afraid of bringing the necessary mistake into the system.  The feeling of having to be perfect still paralyzes entire company floors and errors are often swept under the carpet. Though it’s worth letting mistakes happen even in an age where highly efficient machines enter the workplace. It’s this failure tolerance that sparks creativity and consequently generates innovations.

The excellent, the exceptional, the absurd, and supposedly irrational are all human inventions, accomplishments that big data is not delivering. In fact, we desperately need a paradigm shift since we are overdue in learning to embrace our flaws and value the innovative potential of mankind that lies beneath failure.

Where the future happens

Innovation drivers from the creative industries bring along the necessary qualities. They look at the world in ways that are different from everyone else and they truly value creative intelligence as the innovation method it is. They see opportunities that other people miss and help to break familiar patterns. They observe the world – objects, ideas, and situations – from a deliberately new perspective. They discover details and insights that were undetectable prior to putting it down in words.

How can we connect with creatives and find a place where people with totally different professional backgrounds thrive together? New connections can be drawn naturally in shared office spaces on a daily basis. The physical space is a powerful intensifier, but individuals and organizations need to be ready for that transformative experience.

In fact, the fourth industrial revolution is all about our attitudes and experiences and about letting go of the old and allowing new things. It’s a social mindset. The idea is to create the future of communication between people, machines and brands.  

Author: Aline Dörfert, Senior Content Manager rent24
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