Prof. Pierre Casse and Elnura Irmatova
A new form
“I don’t think the robots are taking
over. I think the men who play with toys
have taken over. And if we don’t take the toys out of their hands we’re fools”
There is one major innovation that
impacts the new world in the making and it is the so-called artificial
intelligence! Human beings have invented a new way to organize our individual
and collective lives on this planet. This a new revolution and it goes beyond
the “digital “one.
It is also, let’s face it, a new way
to challenge and move on with our understanding of reality including, of
We prefer to call it “Non-Organic
Intelligence” (NOI) even if we still do have a major problem with the word
intelligence. Maybe we are wrong to qualify the abilities of the algorithms as
intelligence. It could be beyond what we call
intelligence. Here we go again “humanizing” what we have invented!
We are talking about algorithms
which can be defined as systems that
can collect information (e.g. Big Data processing) very quickly, connect
them in various ways (e.g. AI
Big Data modeling and analysis), diagnose a situation, and finally
outline potential solutions (Problem-solving and decision-making).
We can claim that a human being is
an algorithm to some extent.
Some people will even go as far as saying that people (we) are “Obsolete
Algorithms”. The argument they use is that non-organic algorithms can collect
and process data much faster and much more effectively than any human being.
Are we, again, getting beyond ourselves?
“Unless mankind redesigns itself by
changing our DNA through altering our genetic makeup, computer-generated robots
will take over our world.”
What leaders are going to have to
learn is to use (and, yes, trust) the new form of data processing and decision-making.
It is not -in our minds-a question of controlling the power of “artificial
intelligence” (it is already beyond our human control) but establishing some active partnership with it (we can call
it “hybrid intelligence”). A partnership that will be characterized by
an integration of inputs coming from both parties resulting in a new alliance between human and artificial minds.
We did experience that in the past (to some extent and in a different form)
when we initiated a partnership between the human mind and the machines, we
Human beings will bring to the table
their intuition, emotions, and ethical views, and, much more important, a
unique perspective of life (the meaning and value).
short, the use of non-organic intelligence would
- give quick access to a great amount of data;
- provide an interconnected and logically
reliable analysis of facts;
and suggest various options for decisions and actions.
Leaders must keep the ultimate power
to decide with human ethics in mind (Is it good for us? Is this what we want). It
is not going to be easy…
“I believe that at the end of the
century the use of words and general educated opinion will have altered so much
that one will be able to speak of machine thinking without expected to be
Let’s now examine some major changes
that NOI is already bringing to the way we live and work together.
It seems that NOI is taking over many
industries such as Transportation, Finance (Banking), and Health (surgery) just
to name a few. It is already clear that we are becoming more and more dependent on help, and, in some cases,
the direction is given by computers and their programming.
are some examples of the pluses of non-organic inclusion in our lives:
Quicker and safer operations,
flights, better and faster deliveries of products,
care - new machines to diagnose diseases. Accelerations of the creation of new vaccines,
systems – safety on the road and in our cities,
services – Better knowledge of the customers’ needs and expectations.
are not (yet) dependent on the NOI. We can still ignore it. It seems that we
can apply the solution suggested by the algorithm or find another one ourselves.
At our own risk!
is it true? Think about the cost (economic, social, psychological) of ignoring
what the NOI is claiming or suggesting.
Most organizations are struggling
with three major issues:
- How to redistribute the work
between people and NOI. That challenge has a
tremendous impact on the recruitment of people as well as on the separation of some workers,
employees, and managers who have become “Obsolete”.
- The financial issues are all
connected with the obtention and use of capital in a world where it seems
that money has been redefined and its management is largely impacted by
the use and control of NOI.
major redefinition of business and its operations with the growing impact
of the new media companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, Meta, Google.
must also keep in mind that the use of algorithms in teams and organizations
brings up many new ethical issues. One of them is for sure the notion of responsibility.
Who is still in charge?
But maybe the most important impact
of NOI is on our ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving. Another revolution of
our human cognitive power. There is no question (in many people’s minds) that
non-organic intelligence is in the process of altering our ways to see the
world and our position in that world. Not only are we experiencing a series of
changes but in many cases, they are subtle, unconscious, and also a major
source of (conscious or unconscious) resistance.
Yes, most people (including, of
course, leaders), do not have a good grasp of what is happening and feel
threatened by the changes offered (imposed?) by the NOI opportunities. Leaders
must expect some strong resistance to change with its positive and negative
“They are led by an invisible hand
to make nearly the same distribution of the necessaries of life, which would
have been made, had the earth been divided in equal portions among all its
It seems true that the NOI is
pushing us in new forms of being (individually and socially). Once again, we
are experiencing a revolution in our human existence. Nobody can predict what’s
going to happen to us and yet we can certainly state the following:
- Non-organic intelligence
is just what we need to face the major life issues that we have created through greed and damaging (largely unconscious
drives). Yes, there is a possibility that we have missed a “turn”
in our evolution as living beings. Besides
its numerous benefits, there is a negative scenario we must face e.g. the
reduction of privacy in our human lives. Are we getting into the famous
“1984” way of living?
as a species requires a dramatic change in the way we organize ourselves
at the international level. The challenge is Time! We do not have much
time left to re-invent the way we manage our collective life on the
planet. Do we?
is not going to help us survive and make sure that the next generations
will have a chance to live better lives. A new type of leadership is in
order. Up to us all to redefine it and fight for it.
Maybe the new invisible hand will
take care of it. Does it care?
We asked Mr.
Eoin Banahan (Adjunct Professor (Organisational
Behaviour), Managing Director, RoundRose Associates Ltd) to share his views on the points presented in the article:
“The ongoing advances in so-called “non-organic intelligence” is a key
feature of the evolving Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). Technological
advances in the combination of big data, sophisticated algorithms, and cloud
computing are opening up exciting opportunities for the future in every sphere
of life. However, as with every technological revolution, there are risks to be
identified and addressed as we progress. We have learned a valuable lesson from
the past: Whilst we may slow down the pace of technological progress, we can
never stop it.
The authors are quite correct in highlighting the fact that such
technologies are forcing us to question many of the fundamental assumptions
that provide a foundation for our understanding of the world in which we live
and our place within it, as one species amongst many. The anxieties we feel as
a result are real, but we must not allow such fears to cloud our imagination.
This is not the time for hysteria.
Ongoing advances in “non-organic intelligence” provide us with the
opportunity to address complicatedness more effectively but our continuing
evolution depends on our ability to create and innovate, both of which are
products of complex adaptive systems in which behavior is emergent. The
challenge of complexity, as opposed to complicatedness, will continue to
require organic intelligence rather than AI.
Therefore, the focus for leadership must be directed towards how such
technologies can help us collaborate more effectively, in addressing the
complex challenges, and foreseeable risks to the survival of our species, which
the light of scientific discovery continues to reveal. Leadership is the
critical influencing mechanism which ensures the emergence of creativity and
innovation in complex adaptive systems, and we have good reason to feel
confident that “non-organic intelligence” will not change that dynamic”.
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