The role of the human is conductor instead of pianist, elevated instead of menial, strategic instead of functional. The human is made superhuman by the machine.
This freedom that results – to do the work we are most passionate about – makes entire workforces more effective and, at the same time, more human.
For a business there are a lot of benefits. One is freeing staff from the tedious tasks that sap energy, satisfaction and engagement.
“If your task is to record risks for an audit, maybe that’s automated,” Gourley says. “But the ‘So what?’ for those risks, maybe that becomes something you spend a lot more of your time with.”
Best process wins
The most successful organisations will be those that develop the best processes between humans and machines.
Gourley refers to Kasparov’s Law, which refers to the fact the best human/machine process will always beat superior technology or superior human expertise. Kasparov’s Law emerged from a game known as ‘freestyle chess’, in which a human and a machine in partnership competed against other human/machine pairs.
“What they learned from this was really fascinating,” Gourley says. “It wasn’t the best machine. It wasn’t the best human chess player. What actually mattered was the best process - the best combination of how they work together.”
“There was a mid-level chess player with a consumer-grade chess engine that won the tournament. They beat the supercomputers, they beat the grandmasters. They won because they had better process.”
“I think when we look at the integration of machines into businesses, we really want to think about process.”