MICHAEL SCHRAGE: I like to say that the real future of AI is not artificial intelligence but augmented introspection. All of these different theories of mind and theories of self create opportunities for redefining what we want augmented introspection to be.
Look at Eric Berne’s transactional analysis: parent, child, adult. Different ways of thinking about the self. Freud: ego, id, super ego.
Let’s use the enormous research that has gone on in psychology about the nature of the self—the nature of the self as in the individual and the nature of the self as the self relates to other people—and let’s use technology to create versions of the self that allow for more efficacious, more effective, more creative, more innovative, more productive interactions.
I think it’s important to draw a distinction between a cognitive tool and an enhancement and a multiple self or a version of one’s self that amplifies, exaggerates, improves, enhances, augments some attribute that really matters to you. So here’s a simple way of thinking about this. We have Google Maps. It tells you a way to go. You’re in a hurry. You’re in such a hurry that you’re prepared to dare I say cut corners and go through a stop sign or two. That’s your bold impatient self. Well, should Google Maps make a recommendation that supports your bold impatient self?
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Or you’re doing research on Amazon, you’re looking for books to read on a certain subject. You don’t want the mainstream books that you, the typical average normal you ordered, what about the you that looks to challenge your fundamental assumptions, to stretch your thinking? What if you had a recommendation engine that recommended stuff for you to read that pushed your thinking? That challenged you? That kicked your assumptions in the groin? That’s a different kind of a tool.
Video below – also see The Innovator’s Hypothesis: How Cheap Experiments Are Worth More than Good Ideas (MIT Press)
What is the best way for a company to innovate? Advice recommending “innovation vacations” and the luxury of failure may be wonderful for organizations with time to spend and money to waste. The Innovator’s Hypothesis addresses the innovation priorities of companies that live in the real world of limits. Michael Schrage advocates a cultural and strategic shift: small teams, collaboratively — and competitively — crafting business experiments that make top management sit up and take notice. He introduces the 5×5 framework: giving diverse teams of five people up to five days to come up with portfolios of five business experiments costing no more than $5,000 each and taking no longer than five weeks to run. Successful 5x5s, Schrage shows, make people more effective innovators, and more effective innovators mean more effective innovations.