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How to Share our World with Robots

They say, keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

With burgeoning artificial intelligence and innovative technologies around every corner, it’s no surprise that robots have become our enemy. Studies show that many of today’s jobs will cease to exist by 2030. As a result, many companies are jumping on the AI bandwagon. In fact, 62 percent of organizations already use some form of AI. Although statistics aren’t fun, the reality of our situation is clear: Robots are surpassing our human potential. Or are they?

With the fear of robots taking over the world, we must learn to hone our unique human skills against the ever-evolving world of technology. Our rapidly changing environment provides the perfect place to do just that. Technological advancement is growing at an exponential rate as big data disrupts previous marketing methods. Instead of treating robots as our enemy, there are strategic ways to make them our frenemy.

Here’s the deal: there will always be a need for humans. Anyone who has ever visited the grocery store and encountered the voice that repeatedly informs you of an “unidentified object in the bagging area” will know exactly what I mean. Robots alone aren’t quite there yet. Companies must adapt to such nuisances and develop their employees while collaborating with emerging technologies. As customers’ expectations grow, there is an increasing demand for authenticity and personalized experiences.


For instance, chatbots, while competent with assisting humans with remedial tasks like checkout and booking, are not yet capable of understanding tone. We express 38% of what we want to convey to others through the tone of our voice. While robots may know how to pull from a vast amount of stored data, they can’t comprehend human emotion and feelings. Therefore, emotional intelligence (EQ) is our underlying competitive advantage. That’s right. Our emotions are the key to defeating … er, we mean working with the robots.

EQ, the ability to identify and manage your emotions and the emotions of others, is measured and broken down into four parts: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. Researchers found that EQ accounts for 58 percent of performance in all types of jobs. This makes EQ the single biggest predictor of job performance and leadership ability. Survival of the emotionally intelligent, if you will.

Human relationships ground us. Empathy and emotion allow for successful customer experiences. While the robots can assist humans with mundane and time-consuming tasks, they are not yet capable of displaying human connection or creativity. These factors cannot be programmed…yet.

We can choose to be either terrified or excited about the rise of artificial intelligence. Successful organizations will be marked by their abilities to adapt to the changing environment. At Brown Bag, we welcome the robots with open arms while continuously enhancing our number one asset: our Baggers.

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