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“Futurists don’t actually predict the future,” explains innovator and futurist Maurice Conti. “Their job is to figure out this range of possible futures and then identify strategies to take advantage of those possibilities.” In this interview by Allison Bailey of the Boston Consulting Group, Conti fulfills both roles in this optimistic, enjoyable look at the future(s).

Summary

The future of work lies in pervasive cognitive augmentation.

Three types of augmentation will redefine human existence:

  1. Computers will enhance human cognition – Humanlike robots with flexible general intelligence are just a distant possibility, but the near future will bring many robotic “squirrels”: computer systems that surpass any human in terms of specialized knowledge. People will use these constricted superpowers – for example, in applications like AI and machine learning – to think and deliberate better.
  2. Robots will improve how people manufacture and produce goods – Rather than replacing the human workforce altogether, top firms will pair humans and machines to complete tasks that they can only accomplish jointly. For...

About the Authors

Futurist Maurice Conti is chief innovation officer at Alpha, a moonshot factory within Spain’s largest telecom firm, Telefónica. Interviewer Allison Bailey leads Boston Consulting Group’s People and Organization practice.


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