Mr. Spock won’t survive the Smart Machine Age … will you?

Why human emotions will fuel thinking (and success) in the workforce of the future

We are on the cusp of a new era, led by artificial intelligence and deep learning. This so-called Smart Machine Age will lead to technology and robots outperforming humans in many tasks. This is bad news on the job front. In fact, research from the University of Oxford states there is a high probability that 47 percent of jobs in the U.S. will be automated over the next 15 years. Further, based on that research along with independent research, the chief economist of the Bank of England predicted that the United States could lose upward of 80 million jobs during that time frame.

At first glance you might think the solution is for you to become more robot-like to fit into this brave new high-tech work world. But Ed Hess says don’t start channeling your inner Mr. Spock just yet. On the contrary, the key to staying employable in the Smart Machine Age is to further excel at what makes us unique as human beings—our real, not artificial, emotional and social intelligence.

“Mr. Spock valued logic above all else, and frowned upon human beings because of their emotions,” says Hess, coauthor along with Katherine Ludwig of Humility Is the New Smart: Rethinking Human Excellence in the Smart Machine Age. “However, in the coming Smart Machine Age, our emotional intelligence will be the very factor that makes us unique and employable.”

Hess and Ludwig explain that our emotions fuel our imaginations and enable personal connections to others in ways that machines cannot replicate. When we use our emotions to serve and collaborate with each other, there are no limits to our thinking, creativity and performance.

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