When was the last time you have made an important decision? For a lot of people, decisions have become a challenge of the past. At least when it comes to non-emotional decisions. Indeed, tools such as Google AdWords can make marketing campaign improvement recommendations based on the data captured by the web marketing solution. Individuals who gamble online – or join the National Lottery, for instance – are familiar with the random feature that can play on your behalf. When you don’t know what to choose, there’s already a digital tool available that can take away the pressure of the decision process.
Ultimately, it’s not a big stretch to imagine that one day, we’ll have similar tools to replace business leaders. Who needs an entrepreneur to show the way forward when you can click online to get the answer to your questions?
Machines have already demonstrated that they are perfectly able to complete complex processes without supervision or constant human guidance. Admittedly, while it isn’t to say that computers don’t need people, there’s no denying that most have been using artificial intelligence principles and deep learning workstation to learn to think without us. The ability to learn gives machines an advantage on us; they can continuously review data and adjust their responses as they gain more knowledge. As when it comes to people, most of us struggle to change their trajectory as they discover more. Leaders can, indeed, be emotionally attached to an idea or a specific response, which makes changes more painful.
Video games have launched the concept of augmented reality, which enables players to experience the game in their everyday reality. Games such as Pokemon Go allows players to interact with a fictional character in their everyday environment, via their smartphone. It’s easy to see the advantages of connecting multiple layers of reality to offer your audience a new perception angle. For businesses, it’s the perfect opportunity to showcase how new furniture would fit inside a home, for instance. Machines can switch between layers of “reality” to connect the dots. For a leader, the ability to display to your team what the result of a strategy could look like could boost morale and highlight the benefits of your idea. However, where people can use words to paint the hypothetical future, machines can rely on augmented reality (AR), which makes them more convincing.
Emotional intelligence is an essential skill for all leaders. While machines can think to a certain extent – as long as they know which rules to apply – they can’t feel emotions. They can be taught by talented programmers how to emulate empathic responses, but we still lack understanding of the human emotional genome to support the creation of emotional intelligence platforms. However, AI is capable of learning, and therefore we can expect machines to develop better emotional knowledge. Nevertheless, emotions-conscious machines are not designed to exercise leadership. On the contrary, they are used as part of medical support for vulnerable patients.
Will the new leader be a machine? We’re unlikely to put any computer in charge of a company any time soon. However, there is no denying that as machine learning evolves and our understanding or emotional interactions improve, we might be able to build a machine that can manage a team. Whether it will have the same charisma as a Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, it’s a question for sci-fi authors.