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Humility Is the New Smart

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Humility Is the New Smart

Rethinking Human Excellence in the Smart Machine Age


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Become “NewSmart” to gain meaningful employment in a future of hyper-intelligent machines.

Editorial Rating



  • Overview
  • Engaging
  • Inspiring


In this fundamentally optimistic book about the prospects for human labor in a future dominated by smart machines, Edward D. Hess and Katherine Ludwig argue that people will continue to bring irreplaceable critical thinking, creativity and emotional relationship skills to the workplace. To thrive in the “Smart Machine Age,” every employee must master four “NewSmart” behaviors: “Quieting Ego, Managing Self, Reflective Listening” and “Otherness.” And businesses must reject hierarchical management and become more humane to foster their people’s well-being, resilience, development and engagement.


Smart machines portend economic disruption and profound changes in people’s workplace roles.

The age of smart machines is here. Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) are well on their way to surpassing cognitive abilities people once regarded as exclusive to human beings. For example, AI has made huge strides in natural language processing, complex data and document analysis, and face and voice recognition. People must adjust to the “Smart Machine Age” (SMA) by focusing on the skills, abilities and potential unique to humankind.

The advent of the SMA will have widespread, perhaps dire consequences for the economy and society. New technologies may displace as much as 47% of the US workforce. Organizations must adjust the sort of employees they hire and the work environment they provide. Smart machines will manage business as usual, while human beings will provide the value-added elements of creativity, critical thinking, innovation, adaptability and responsiveness.

The Industrial Revolution set the parameters of a desirably “smart” workforce.

The Industrial Revolution needed workers who could retain knowledge while making...

About the Authors

Edward D. Hess is a business administration professor at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. Katherine Ludwig served as associate general counsel for a publicly traded tech company.

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    N. N. 2 years ago
    Awesome insights from this book summary which I can connect with my spiritual understanding "Trunadapi Sunichena, Tarorapi Sahisnuna " in sanskrit. Google it if you don't understand sanskrit

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