AI and Conway in the Same Room
What influences might AI and Conaway law have on organizations? Both of them can have dramatic consequences for your everyday life.
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In these times when technology seems to be accelerating more and more, it seems interesting to investigate the consequences of these technologies on the organization of companies. In my opinion, two subjects are major drivers of change:
- The rise of AI, especially in the world of HR, with to date a fashion effect around chatbots. And we can think that it will go further to just chatbots,
- Conway's reverse maneuver, with the "machine" that dictates his dedicated organization.
Influence of AI
The list of futurologist predictions could be long and uncertain, but it seems useful to share on realistic use cases:
- On the operational level :
- Much fewer people in BackOffice,
- Jobs should change deeply. Part of the job will be to control the AI more than you do the job. By consequence, there will have an urgent need for everyone to understand AI,
- Will AI answer the phone to customers?
- On HR management:
- We'll try to predict employee behavior — will they resign? Disengage?
- We will be able to "accompany" employees in their careers within the company, for better or for worse?
- The resumes will be sorted by the AI, and the Chatbot will be the first interlocutor of the employees,
- We will seek indications on whom to promote, who should work with whom, and surely to define an organization,
- perhaps making resource allocation, even if taken seriously, the underlying algorithms are called NP-Complete. To put it simply, even a quantum computer cannot solve perfectly this problem,
- Detect people at risk of burnout,
- Predict skill requirements,
- Improve employee well-being
- Architecture and organizations:
- The AI can suggest architectures and organizations, knowing that architectures will push us to define organizations (see Conway’s inverse maneuver part next to this one).
We see that AI could have a right to life and death over our careers and over organizations and that we would be more than kinda Tutors for AIs. Enjoyable, isn't it? In any case, we will have to consider the possible consequences, but we must understand that we must remain in control of our tools.
Conway's Inverse Maneuver
The last point I mentioned echoes Conway's inverse approach. This approach consists in defining an IT architecture, then defining the organization according to this IT architecture.
In any case, this logic of Conway's reverse maneuver encourages teams to be as agile as possible, multi-disciplinary, with if possible a flat hierarchy based on skills and experience. And it is then up to the architect to understand how the teams work and to take the lead. Indeed, their place will be closer and closer to management to enlighten them on the right strategic choices to make, but also close to HR to manage this dynamic organization and resembling a living being.
Indeed, wouldn't artificial intelligence be effective in determining the best architecture? And what if AI will take part of the definition of Architecture, or even to the coding? We would then have the artificial intelligence that will work the code, therefore the architecture, therefore the organization
AI + Conway Equals a New Revolution
We then see a risk that it is the "machine," through its own needs and the contributions of the AI, which risks dictating our fate and our organization in a company. And obviously, the questions that this raises are of an ethical nature as well as organizational in driving this "machine." In the same way, we have seen Chief Digital Officers appear, he could well have a Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer or Chief Knowledge Intelligence Officer, mastering as well:
- Technical topics
- Operational intelligence
- human resources
- then organizations
And of course, if this person has notions of ethics, it would obviously be welcome.
Even if we have chosen some advanced use cases, it seems obvious that computing has not finished nibbling away at human prerogatives. Should we limit? Define a frame? Don't bridle anything? In the absence of any ethical and philosophical reflection, it appears that our policies have chosen rather the absence or virtual absence of restraint. It is up to us citizens to become aware of this and to rethink the future role of operational staff, who will become the guardians of this "machine."
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