Alessandro Lanteri | How can humans work together with robots?


As a professor of entrepeneurship I am frequently asked by companies and students, “What does it take for an organization to be successful?” The question is not new. However, we are now at the beginning of the fourth industrial revolution an age of rapid transformation in technology and systems of production which is disrupting the way organizations traditionally succeeded. So, we need new answers. Based on my research, I’ve developed a framework called C.L.E.V.E.R., which is the acronym of the 6 pillars organizations must build in order to succeed. Today, I am going to talk about the first: Collaborative Intelligence. Collaborative Intelligence means that organizations can improve their performance by expanding the range of skills they employ and today, this means employing the skills of both humans and robots. For example, car manufacturer use robots to stamp, paint and weld cars because these are tasks which require accuracy and consistency which robots excel at. Many people believe that nowadays the challenge is to replace humans with machines but it is not. For example, Tesla has recently encoutered some problems with the productions of its Model 3 and experts agree that this is due to the decision to use robots for this age of assembly. But robots struggle with the tens of thousands of components that make up each car whereas humans have natural skills that make them better at it. To fully leverage the power of collaborative intelligence, business leaders should invest in automating the tasks that machines can do better than humans. This will increase efficiency but even more importantly, it will free up time for humans to do something else. In an age of rapid transformation continuous innovation becomes a necessity but robots cannot innovate only humans can. Leaders must unleash human creativity to pursue unique new avenues for value creation. Interestingly, collaborative intelligence works equally well in manufacturing as in services. Think about robotic surgery in Medicine, Robo-advisory in Finance, and even traditional fields like Agriculture have been using it with success. At Hult, we listen to companies and address the questions that puzzle them to help them get ready for the fourth industrial revolution.

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