Working with AI · Real Stories of Human-Machine Collaboration · Book Review

Working with AI

In this thought-provoking book, renowned experts in management and technology, Thomas Davenport and Steven Miller, debunk prevalent myths about artificial intelligence (AI) as a harbinger of mass unemployment. Instead, they propose a more nuanced reality—AI as a tool that reconfigures job roles rather than eliminating them altogether. The book serves as a persuasive argument, showcasing how AI augments human effort by automating certain tasks, thus enabling workers to devote time to more complex and intellectually stimulating activities.

Using an array of meticulously researched case studies that span various sectors—from finance to manufacturing—the authors demonstrate that the integration of AI in workplaces is not some distant, speculative scenario; it is already unfolding. Case examples include an innovative system that streamlines the life insurance underwriting process, a chat-based telemedicine platform, an intelligent machine-learning algorithm for predicting train maintenance based on fuel sample analysis, and even Flippy, a robotic aide for fast-food cooking. These real-world applications serve to ground the discussion in practicality and immediate relevance.

Davenport and Miller’s book is further enriched by “insight” chapters that synthesize overarching themes and delve into the broader implications of human-AI partnerships. These sections offer valuable reflections for stakeholders, from job incumbents to managers and technology vendors. Through detailed interviews and analysis, the authors elucidate the multifaceted nature of AI’s impact on work.

“Working with AI: Real Stories of Human-Machine Collaboration” serves as both a counter-narrative to alarmist views and a guidebook for organizations navigating the AI landscape. It provides readers with a balanced, in-depth understanding of how AI is reshaping the work environment in diverse ways—far from the catastrophic job loss that is often sensationalized in media and discourse.