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How well do you work with robots? Kevin Kelly, founding executive editor at Wired, claims, “You’ll be paid in the future based on how well you work with robots.” Ignoring some of the naysayers who worry about computers taking jobs away from humans, many leaders today are arguing that our robotic coworkers of the future will increase efficiency and create more opportunities for people to do interesting, high-level work.  

Our very own Jason Corsello asks, "Would machines that automate repetitive, mundane tasks and free us up to take on more meaningful, thought-provoking work be such terrible news?" According to Corsello, there are three ways that robots will change the workplace we know today for the better: 

Hybrid Human-Robot Teams 

There are already examples of humans and computers teaming up to be successful. Corsello cites an experiment involving humans and computers working together to compete at chess. On their own, computers will almost always beat humans at the game. However, in "freestyle" chess tournaments, human-computer hybrid teams dominate the competition against even the most advanced computer systems. "While the machines are insanely good at pattern recognition, human players contribute strategic guidance," Corsello says. "This is the kind of combined intelligence that we’ll see in our workplaces over the coming years." 

The Skill Set of the Future 

In a world of human-computer collaboration, people will need to develop skills that enable them to work smarter and more efficiently with the help of computers. For example, while computers can automate many tasks, they can't yet automate creativity. Corsello says, "Computers make lousy salespeople, therapists and entrepreneurs, for example." Creativity and innovation will be therefore be in higher demand from human workers. 

Real-World Applications

Recruiting is one industry in which Corsello sees major advantages for these human-computer teams. While recruiters often struggle to find the best candidates for the position they are looking to fill, college graduates and other job seekers struggle to find roles that fit their skills and interests. However, a computer that could mine a database of resumes and find candidates regardless of whether they applied could save companies and recruiters a lot of time. They could instead spend more time speaking with various candidates, have more meaningful conversations and better assess whether they are a longterm fit for the company. 

"As automation accelerates," Corsello says, "the changes it brings will redefine what it means to be human and help us find more meaning in our work." According to a recent study by CompTIA, more and more companies are automating simple tasks: "Expense reporting, invoicing and employment reviews are among the areas where organizations are using technology to move away from paper and manual processes to digital formats." As these simple tasks become automated, organizations will be able to profit from nurturing and developing employees to make use of their higher-level skills. 

H/T Human Capitalist

Photo: Can Stock