Working for Apple opened my eyes to a form of leadership I had not considered yet in my career: Leading as a learner. The approach was to rotate through entry level positions, with the title and authority to make changes and recommendations based on my experience and relationships.

Imagine now, if in a few years Siri™ could do the same thing for your company. At first, she would be naive to your processes, procedures, and desired outcomes. But after you teach her those things, with analysis and industry cross-referencing, she would have game-changing recommendations for your business. Read further to discover how this might not be as far in the future as you think.

There have been numerous studies on the "Singularity" of computing power, and this year the discussion will likely grow louder as we begin to see early examples of it taking off. This post explores how dramatic changes in human/machine interaction could develop to be more intuitive; and possibly have boom/bust consequences.

This post is also Part 3 of my A.I. Stepping into Life Series, where I'll share thoughts on how the progress of computing is likely to impact human labor, the economy, and possibly life as we know it.

Part 1: We Are Masters
Part 2: Becoming Shepherds To Save Our Careers
Part 3: How Teachers Become Students
Part 4: A New Peer to Peer Network
Part 5: Partners In Time
Part 6: The Divergence

These are merely thoughts I've gathered along with those of many experts, to help spark your own ideas on the impact A.I. may have on your career. Sound fair? OK, let's watch this TED Talk to discover how we can race with machines rather than against them...

Similar to the novice chess players with laptops, modest workers with A.I. would beat skilled workers or stand-alone A.I. every time. If strong A.I. (like Siri™ on steroids) were used by highly educated workers, productivity levels could explode! The "steroids" would be that Siri™ could learn from her mistakes (unlike the frustrating repetition you experience now). 

This would be a boon for HR analysts and recruiters who will be challenged with finding new skill-sets to match new jobs created by new-tech. This is all great, right? What's the big deal, you might ask? Speed! Speed is the big deal.

Industrial and economic transitions will occur faster than ever before. Entrepreneurs and businesses agile enough to incorporate new-tech resources quickly, will become first-movers in a winner take all Superstar economy.

Technological changes could allow the best performers in a given field to serve a bigger market and thus reap a greater share of its revenue. But this would also reduce the spoils available to the less gifted in the business. - Sherwin Rosen, Economist

Superstar business are already here, and an explosion in technologic capabilities would propel them even higher. Again, why is this important? Again, the speed at which these transitions occur may be unlike any in history. This could lead to the many "less gifted" becoming destitute. We know how this played out in the past: 

  1. The Panic of 1837: The industrial revolution sparks a population spike that requires the British to import more food. With decreasing bank reserves to pay for these imports, British banks trigger runaway interest declines that ultimately lead to the first global (6yr) economic crisis.
  2. The Great Depression of 1929: Shrinking money supply generates lack of  spending/faith in stock markets, that ultimately leads to a run on U.S. banks. Industrial-level farming (to feed growing populous) creates a dust-bowl effect that exacerbates the problem, stalling recovery for 10 years.

The graph above showcases super computing power growth due to Moore's Law compared to human brain performance. As we reach 2030, narrow "dumb" A.I. super computers may transition to general "learning" A.I., possibly triggering a revolutionary tipping point, depending on speed-to-market.

Similar to those of the past 200 years (mentioned above), Superstar businesses may hold a majority of total product/capital, and wealth is concentrated in the hands of a minority, total spending may decrease, and we could face a possible depression (or worse). 

To tie it all together, we will need to take a long hard look at leading as learners with the advanced tools coming to market. If we have the ability to teach A.I. to optimize our business/production/etc., should we democratize it and teach everyone to use A.I. for income?

In my upcoming post, I'll cover new ways our connections with A.I. might evolve furtherWe'll also take a look at how quantum computing and optimization could amplify abundance. 

If this is review for you, then you are way ahead of the curve. Everyone else, it's time to catch up! (Click the highlighted words for interesting articles and background on these topics.) 

Lastly, if you've read my other posts you might start thinking these ideas are somewhat plausible. If not, that's cool too (it could be better/worse). Just keep in mind: those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. (Click here to read part 4)

Want to learn about how machine learning is evolving to impact the future of your career? Find more at

Learn more about future-proofing your career in my next series:

Future-proofing Your Career

Follow me on Twitter: @zacengler

Original content © Zac Engler, 3/15/2016