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BAT TEN BR IEFI N G INSPIRING THE WORLD THROUGH ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND INNOVATION

JAN 2015

Innovation in the Age of Smart Machines: THE POWER OF PEOPLE AND TECHNOLOGY INNOVATORS' ROUNDTABLE, SPRING 2014. CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA.

contributor

Malgorzata Glinska Senior Researcher, Batten Institute glinskam@darden.virginia.edu

A

stonishing digital technologies and unprecedented connectivity are making

the impossible possible. Think the Vulcan mind meld is pure fantasy? Michael Chorost, technology theorist and writer, may well disagree. After losing his

hearing, Chorost received cochlear implants—tiny computers that trigger auditory

nerves to recreate the sensation of hearing. Chorost views the devices inside his head as a step toward a future in which a combination of implanted nanowires and optogenetics will allow meaningful communication between brains.3

Technological marvels are enhancing our lives in profound ways. They are also increasing our anxiety.

You’ll be paid in the future based on how well you work with robots.”1 Kevin Kelly, Futurist, cofounder of Wired magazine

47%

of U.S. jobs are highly susceptible to automation.2

INNOVATORS' ROUNDTABLE REPORT

Some warn that machines are coming to steal our jobs. As MIT’s Eric Brynjolfsson

and Andrew McAfee outline in their recent best seller The Second Machine Age, along with the benefits, technological progress will leave many without work as cognitive

tasks are increasingly automated.4 In many cases, the authors argue, artificially intelligent machines can make better decisions than humans.

So what does this mean for organizations and the individuals who work in them? Recent advances in digital technologies are disrupting markets and reshaping indus-

tries. Companies are not only under extraordinary pressure to find new opportunities

for growth; they have to make sense of today’s rapidly evolving technology. This Batten

Briefing explores several questions: What implications do recent technological advances have for business leaders? What skills will be necessary for working alongside smart

machines? Will people still matter? And, most importantly, how can we best prepare for a fast-changing world?

Batten Briefing: Innovation in the Age of Smart Machines  

Astonishing digital technologies and unprecedented connectivity are making the impossible possible. Think the Vulcan mind meld is pure fanta...

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