Management of people and bots

In the future we will manage two different things; people and AI’s. We have no idea how fast the AI’s will develop and whether these will end up being the same.

Managing and leading people will increasingly be about coaching them to self-manage and manage others, too. Everyone needs to be cooperative with people, their teams, their peers, and with the surrounding organisation - instead of working in strict hierarchies.

Managing AI’s, LLM’s, bots, and computers, is going to be equally important and complex. It may begin as straightforward, at least until these tools reach enough agency or even sentience. Everyone will do this to some extent. Every knowledge worker will be a manager of AI agents.

We will be working with people in cooperative settings, while managing AI’s, information and essentially allocating resources. We are distilling and summarising information that will flow within the cooperative human networks.

Summarisation #

A few things I read recently:

Everything is a summarisation”: AI’s in 2024 are excellent at summarising vast amounts of data. This can be anything from personal notes to industry databases. Once you see this, you start to see it in other things: an integration to a service is a summarisation of certain API endpoints. A B2B software is a summarisation of work people need to get done as efficiently as possible.

LLM’s are a camera into the data”. They are not intelligence, not yet. But they provide an infinite amounts of different angles to your data. These angles all provide a summary from you selected viewpoint. Your job is to describe this viewpoint throught prompts.

All this means that some isolated information related tasks become easier, and our work will move towards interconnected things and out-of-the-box thinking. The box being the data and thinking being the ability to describe to an LLM from where to look at the box. Knowledge work will become more complex and harder. That is, the part that remains while some of it goes away.

Skills and attitudes #

We need management skills on how to allocate their own time as well as AI “time” or credits. We’ll need to think about ourselves as managers regardless of our titles. As middle managers of sorts, and that changes worldviews for many.

More than any particular skill this requires a change in attitude and how we view ourselves as workers. Do we try to avoid AI, use AI as a tool to do what we always did but more efficiently, or do we let our work-selves transform into some other type of professional?

The mother of all summaries #

(Summarized by GPT-4, of course)

The future of work involves managing both people and AIs, with a shift towards coaching self-management and fostering teamwork beyond traditional hierarchies. Managing AIs, from bots to large language models, will become essential as they evolve, requiring every knowledge worker to adapt. This dual management focus demands new skills in summarization and information flow, as AIs excel at condensing vast data, redefining prompt crafting and perspectives. As automation simplifies routine tasks, work will pivot towards interconnected thinking and strategic resource allocation. This evolution calls for a mindset shift among professionals, viewing themselves as integral managers in a landscape where embracing and effectively integrating AI becomes crucial to navigating the complexities of future work environments.


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