ask the difficult questions

“Weak human + machine + better process was superior to a strong computer alone and, more remarkably, superior to a strong human + machine + inferior process.” —Garry Kasparov

The future of work will be humans augmented by machines, and those with the best processes will succeed. In How to Become a Centaur, Nicky Case outlines what machines (AI) are good for and what people are best at.

“So, how do you find the best “+” for humans and AI? How do you combine humans’ and AI’s individual strengths, to overcome their individual weaknesses? Well, to do that, we first need to know exactly what humans’ and AI’s strengths and weaknesses are.

Human nature, for better or worse, doesn’t change much from millennia to millennia. If you want to see the strengths that are unique and universal to all humans, don’t look at the world-famous award-winners — look at children. Children, even at a young age, are already proficient at: intuition, analogy, creativity, empathy, social skills. Some may scoff at these for being ‘soft skills’, but the fact that we can make an AI that plays chess but not hold a normal five-minute conversation, is proof that these skills only seem ‘soft’ to us because evolution’s already put in the 3.5 billion years of hard work for us”.

Basically, “AIs are best at choosing answers. Humans are best at choosing questions.”

If you are looking at how best to change our training and education systems to prepare for an augmented future, then ‘asking better questions’ should be at the top of the list. Those soft (permanent) skills are our secret sauce when it comes to working with ever smarter machine intelligence.

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