The trucker protests in Ottawa and elsewhere in Canada had more to do with robots (technology) than vaccine mandates. Technology such as social media helped bring the malcontents together into a “convoy”. It spread their ideas far and wide. Many protestors also used their phones (and selfie-sticks) to live-stream their activities to their followers, fueling their feelings of celebrity and self-importance. Like most things these days, it’s hard to imagine the trucker convoy without the Internet.
Beyond their issue with vaccine mandates, the truckers (plus the many non-truckers) in the protests were unconsciously expressing their fear of obsolescence. They know they are one robot away from unemployment. Robot-driving trucks are just a few years away. Robot-operated factories are already here. So, while on one hand technology empowered the protestors, it also scares them. And when you feel your future, your status, and your economic interests are threatened, you can resort to extreme measures.
That’s why I wrote my book Dancing With Robots. As a society, we need to get a handle on the rise of robots and other technology such as AI and automation. We need to appreciate that we are living through an historic moment, when the way we live and work are being upended by technology that is growing more powerful by the minute.
In Dancing With Robots, I talk about our Five Human Super-Powers, the five unique attributes humans possess that robots do not. They are: Embodied Pattern Recognition, Unbridled Curiosity, Purpose-Driven Ideation, Ethical Framing, and Metaphoric Communication. These are the innate human attributes we need to cultivate in order to thrive in the age of robots. I also present the 29 strategies for success in the age of AI and automation. These are new strategies that work incredibly well for humans in a robot world.
When I give keynote speeches on this topic, I come across three kinds of people. Ten percent of the folks are very engaged in moving forward into the future. They love the topic. About 60 percent of people are tuned out. They don’t want to think about robots taking over the world. They are marching blindly into the future. And about 30 percent are angry about this subject. They’re scared. They’re resisting the future. Frankly, I find the angry folks unnerving, but at least they sense something big is going on. Hopefully they will wake up the sleepy sixty percent.
So don’t be sleepy. Get dancing. Dancing With Robots will help you navigate the coming years of disruption. It explains what skills and abilities you should focus on. It gives you new strategies to use. It helps you better understand the historic trends and forces that will affect you, your family, and your community. And it shows how to maintain your humanity while using technology for the common good. It teaches you how to “dance with robots.”
Bill Bishop is a futurist, entrepreneur, author and keynote speaker. He is the CEO of The BIG Idea Company, an innovation coaching company based in Toronto and also founder of The New Economy Network, a global network of business people who are passionate about the New Economy. Learn more here.