As companies experiment with Artificial Intelligence for recruiting, credit decisions, and even self-driving mechanisms (Fences Pizza, anyone?), leaders of those same corporations share fears of AI overload.
Even Elon Musk famously called AI “our biggest existential threat.” Though Facial Recognition Software Cross-Mapped With Facebook Likes will soon reveal your hidden fandom of Nickleback at the Q3 offsite, work bots will lack people-based soft skills like human interaction and scrolling through LinkedIn.
The question “Where do you work?” will become “Which robot is your boss?” — and unless your e-boss has been reprogrammed from the future to draw a new org chart for John Connor Tax & Legal, your future AI supervisor may not be as helpful as you think.
Here are a few prototypes to consider.
Chief Creative Officer
Earth’s most recognizable robot, C-3PO will bring etiquette and protocol to client presentations and TED Talks. Designed to interact with organic beings (that’s you), C-3PO’s ability to map adaptive thinking with real-time execution will give him a silver leg-up on the creative competition. But the halo effect won’t last long: while fluent in over 6 million forms of communication, nuisances will outweigh nuances once C-3PO fails to foster collaboration and align teams to “make the logo just a little bit more, you know, edgy and cool, like we talked about.”
VP of Human Resources
Appearing in the legendary 2001 series (with each book keeping Arthur C. Clarke’s promise of 2,001 pages), HAL (a Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer) is the embodiment of AI. Coded with calming empathy, HAL’s an ideal candidate to navigate organizational development, employee law, and comp policy. But don’t expect to HAL at the water jug anytime soon. Though Chess Fridays will be fun and engaging, prepare for disappointment when requesting an extra vacation day. HAL’s Scrooge-like “I’m afraid I can’t do that” will be no Humbug in the programming.
Chief Strategy Officer
First appearing in the 1983 movie Wargames, the War Operation Plan Response (WOPR) supercomputer was built to use an interactive gaming simulation to avoid nuclear war. Thanks to WOPR’s comfort with ambiguity and ability to speak truth that sparks transformation, it’s perfectly poised for a position in planning. But a swipe card isn’t a sure thing: because WOPR’s really just a big box with dancing lights and 3-prong extension cord, flaws in 1–1 annual reviews will prove that the only move is not to hire.
Executive Vice President
Tony Stark’s JARVIS, aka Just A Rather Very Intelligent System, is Iron Man’s “robot behind the robot.” Speaking with a Siri-esque friendly demeanor, JARVIS manages everything about Tony Stark’s personal and professional life, and could be the industry standard for CEO and Board support. Even though JARVIS’ transparent reporting would connect global strategy with regional offices, his tendency towards complaining and pushback may compel human counterparts to let calls go to voice mail.
Down the dusty road, we might find Yul Brynner’s gunslinger hosting the next Spring Kickoff at Westworld, Ford & Bernard LLP…though we’ll have to wait for confirmation from the planning team at HBO.
And after questioning the core notion of humanity, Blade Runner’s Roy Batty (Nexus N6MAA10816) had high hopes of creating a sky-net-new position as VP of Workplace Mindfulness, but after accepting early retirement, all those brainstorm sessions were lost…like tears…in rain.