In reality, though, our conversations aren't as esoteric as what two philosophers debate in a coffee house. Many of our discussions are technology focused but less about the technology itself and more on how the technology and analytics fit into our business and personal lives.
That's why it was fun and educational having Michael Schrage, an author and research fellow at the MIT Sloan School of Management, on All Analytics Radio the other day. If you missed it, listen now on demand. We built the conversation on the foundation that Schrage set with some of his own research and in a Harvard Business Review article, How to Give a Robot a Job Review.
A job review for a machine? Sounds kind of frivolous. However, it may be time to address questions about machine performance. Have you ever considered how much you rely upon technology and how often you evaluate that technology? I doubt that you do such evaluations just once a year the way your employer might do with you. Maybe you pass some favorable or unfavorable judgment on your PC once a week. Do you curse your cable provider or you cell service every day? You can bet that you aren't alone in that case.
While yesterday's discussion about intelligent machines raised questions about scenarios such as whether you will expect your future autonomous car to drive like you do -- testing the law by speeding -- and whether it's OK to swear at a chatbot, we touched on some bigger issues of the human/machine relationship.
We raised plenty of questions and actually came up with a few potential answers. However, the key, as Schrage pointed out is that it's time actually to ask those questions, to set out to understand what we expect of machines and software, and thus to understand what technology means to us.
One other part of the conversation that I hope you will listen to with care is where Schrage notes that how a piece of technology performs isn't just part of the machine's review. Think about it, the machine's performance increasingly is a factor in our own job reviews.
If you are wondering, yes, we got into the whole issue of machines replacing us in the workforce and machines ruling the world.
I hope you will give a listen and share your own comments and questions in the text chat field or in the comments section below this blog.