“The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment.”
Warren Bennis, American Leadership Guru (1925 – 2014)
The buzz today is all about Artificial Intelligence (AI).
When I first saw this quote a few years ago, I laughed because I said to myself — that is never going to happen. Now it’s in the realm of reality. We all have seen pictures of the assembly lines at car manufacturing plants with robotic arms doing the work that many humans previously did. Forty years ago, we were all concerned about the effect personal computers would have on our lives. Today we ponder how we would get along without them. The list goes on and on.
As a society, we seem to adapt to these changes as evident in our country by the fact we can still employ better than 95% of us. In my ninth decade I have seen a lot of changes occur. We got through them and in most cases, came out for the better.
We are going through another change and many are scared because we don’t like change. We like our lives with the things we have. As an employee said to me one day, “Mr. Clark, why are you always changing something?” My reply, if we don’t change, we will cease to exist. CEO’s know this though some have to learn it the hard way. AI is here to stay and similar to prior new advances, we will all get through it – kicking, screaming, and complaining.