Working with AI
Real Stories of Human-Machine Collaboration
312 pp., 6 x 9 in
- Published: September 27, 2022
- Published: September 27, 2022
Two management and technology experts show that AI is not a job destroyer, exploring worker-AI collaboration in real-world work settings.
This book breaks through both the hype and the doom-and-gloom surrounding automation and the deployment of artificial intelligence-enabled—“smart”—systems at work. Management and technology experts Thomas Davenport and Steven Miller show that, contrary to widespread predictions, prescriptions, and denunciations, AI is not primarily a job destroyer. Rather, AI changes the way we work—by taking over some tasks but not entire jobs, freeing people to do other, more important and more challenging work. By offering detailed, real-world case studies of AI-augmented jobs in settings that range from finance to the factory floor, Davenport and Miller also show that AI in the workplace is not the stuff of futuristic speculation. It is happening now to many companies and workers.
These cases include a digital system for life insurance underwriting that analyzes applications and third-party data in real time, allowing human underwriters to focus on more complex cases; an intelligent telemedicine platform with a chat-based interface; a machine learning-system that identifies impending train maintenance issues by analyzing diesel fuel samples; and Flippy, a robotic assistant for fast food preparation. For each one, Davenport and Miller describe in detail the work context for the system, interviewing job incumbents, managers, and technology vendors. Short “insight” chapters draw out common themes and consider the implications of human collaboration with smart systems.
“What work can AI accomplish—and what can workers accomplish with AI? Setting aside hype, Davenport and Miller probe the beating heart of dozens of real-world AI implementations to find out. The lessons are subtle, eye-opening, and occasionally comical. No matter what you thought you knew about AI in the workplace, this book will change your mind.”
David Autor, Ford Professor of Economics, MIT
“AI is already changing the world and for the first time we have a collection of case studies written in a way that everyone can understand. This is an essential read for anyone trying to understand the breadth of change that is coming.”
DJ Patil, former U.S. Chief Data Scientist
“This book brings AI to life and gives practical, grounded examples of what AI can do now, and how it is augmenting human roles in the workplace. This is a fantastic guide for any organisation attempting to unleash the power of AI at scale.”
Dave Gledhill, former CIO, DBS bank; Director, Singapore Airlines
“With rich description Davenport and Miller take us through AI applications shaping the future of work. What work should be standardized? What work could be better informated? How can AI promote meaningful human work? Read this and learn.”
Denise M Rousseau, H.J. Heinz II University Professor, Carnegie Mellon University and Academic President, Center for Evidence-based Management
“Getting AI to work requires human learning and adaptation, job redesign, and enterprise transformation. It takes a good book to make such common sense compelling and actionable, and this is a very good book.”
Tan Kok Yam, Chief Executive, SkillsFuture Singapore; former Deputy Secretary of Smart Nation and Digital Government Office
"The book is aimed at managers, consultants and students planning their careers...I appreciated the accessible narratives as a diverse survey of how current technologies can expand the range of human capabilities."
The Wall Street Journal
"When pictures are painted in such extremes of light and shade it's time to call in the experts, and in Working with AI: Real Stories of Human-Machine Collaboration, we benefit not just from the hard-won wisdom of two leaders in the field – Thomas H Davenport and Steven M Miller – but also of the people involved in the dozens of case studies presented that detail real-world applications of AI in the commercial, research and administrative space. What the authors call 'real stories of human-machine collaboration' come together over nearly 300 pages of analysis and insight to produce one of the most balanced narratives of AI in the workplace produced to date."
"Working with AI is by and large a hopeful work about human-machine collaboration, emphasizing that there are still many things that machines simply cannot do — from understanding context to managing organizational change to understanding emotional situations — and thus they will still depend on humans as much as we rely on them. That will likely remain true for us, our children, and our grandchildren."