1st Edition

The Humachine Humankind, Machines, and the Future of Enterprise

By Nada R. Sanders, John D. Wood Copyright 2020
    298 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    298 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    There is a lot of hype, hand-waving, and ink being spilled about artificial intelligence (AI) in business. The amount of coverage of this topic in the trade press and on shareholder calls is evidence of a large change currently underway. It is awesome and terrifying. You might think of AI as a major environmental factor that is creating an evolutionary pressure that will force enterprise to evolve or perish. For those companies that do survive the "silicon wave" sweeping through the global economy, the issue becomes how to keep their humanity amidst the tumult.

    What started as an inquiry into how executives can adopt AI to harness the best of human and machine capabilities turned into a much more profound rumination on the future of humanity and enterprise. This is a wake-up call for business leaders across all sectors of the economy. Not only should you implement AI regardless of your industry, but once you do, you should fight to stay true to your purpose, your ethical convictions, indeed your humanity, even as our organizations continue to evolve. While not holding any punches about the dangers posed by overpowered AI, this book uniquely surveys where technology is limited, and gives reason for cautious optimism about the true opportunities that lie amidst all the disruptive change currently underway. As such, it is distinctively more optimistic than many of the competing titles on Big Technology.

    This compelling book weaves together business strategy and philosophy of mind, behavioral psychology and the limits of technology, leadership and law. The authors set out to identify where humans and machines can best complement one another to create an enterprise greater than the sum total of its parts: the Humachine.

    Combining the global business and forecasting acumen of Professor Nada R. Sanders, PhD, with the legal and philosophical insight of John D. Wood, Esq., the authors combine their strengths to bring us this profound yet accessible book. This is a "must read" for anyone interested in AI and the future of human enterprise.

    1. The Fourth Industrial Revolution  2. Pathways to Superintelligence  3. The Limits of Machine Capabilities  4. The Limits of Human Capabilities  5. Integration of People and Technology  6. Legal Issues in the Humachine Era  7. Breaking the Paradigm  8. Mutations  9. REFLECTions on the Humachine


    Nada R. Sanders, PhD, is distinguished professor at D’Amore McKim School of Business at Northeastern University in Boston. Her expertise includes forecasting, analytics, global supply chain intelligence, and sustainability. She is the 2019 president of the Production and Operations Management Society and fellow of the Decision Sciences Institute. Her publications have appeared in California Management Review, Journal of Operations Management, International Journal of Forecasting, and Production and Operations Management Journal.

    John D. Wood, Esq., is a member of the New York and Texas Bar Associations and a graduate of NYU School of Law. He is founder of The Law Firm of John D. Wood, PLLC, providing strategic counsel to property owners. His expertise includes risk management, legal compliance, and sustainable business strategy. His publications have appeared in NYU Journal of Law and Liberty, NYU Environmental Law Journal, The Environmental Law Reporter, as well as numerous Bar Association journals.

    "Non-fiction of this type never needs to be a dry reading experience and The Humachine is not. The writing and thoughts shared by the authors make it clear the high stakes of the changes AI brings to our modern world in vivid and tightly wound prose that never loses readers in tortured tangles of language. All readers will appreciate this. Newcomers to the subject will find the authors make complex subject comprehensible without ever dumbing it down and those closer to the issues at hand will find their conclusions credible and often insightful. Even long after the future has arrived and AI is completely woven into our lives, Nada Sanders and John Wood’s The Humachine: Humankind, Machines, and The Future of Enterprise will retain considerable value as one of the more prescient publications about the emergence of a new age. It stands now as an important volume to read to help understand the massive changes our world will undergo in the years to come."

    Jason Hillenburg, goodreads.com

    "Sanders and Wood do not view the growing influence of AI as an Utopia in the making for humankind, they do acknowledge the difficulties many businesses and society as a whole already faces in bringing our humanity in accord with technological advancement, but nor do they see a wildly Dystopian outcome as a foregone conclusion. The level of nuance and insight that defines The Humachine: Humankind, Machines, and The Future of Enterprise will challenge readers and provides us with a clear and well-organized glimpse into the future. It does so in a balanced way that helps ensure this book will remain relevant for years to come."

    Nicole Killian, mobyorkcity.com

    "They engage the reader at various points with philosophical concerns without ever falling into the trap of long-winded debate. You may find yourself agreeing with their conclusions in this area, but it isn’t essential – you can still take away much from this book without ever falling in line with its beliefs and concepts. Sanders and Wood never presume they are offering the final word on this subject. Instead, The Humachine: Humankind, Machines, and The Future of Enterprise aims to be one more contribution to an expanding gallery of works concentrating on one of the greatest paradigm shifts our species will likely experience. Nada Sanders and John Wood are authors of a book with immediate relevance that will continue to engage modern readers for many years to come and its publication enriches our societal dialogue on the matter."

    Clay Burton, Imaai Book Reviews

    "The Humachine is an even-handed work with great depth that never tests the reader’s patience or talks down to them; instead, it engages readers on an important subject with intelligence and insight while maintaining a conversational prose style.[...] There is a tremendous amount of meaningful research and practical experience fueling The Humachine: Humankind, Machines, and The Future of Enterprise that makes it one of the formative texts on the subject yet to emerge from any publisher. The book is a quick yet never shallow read and one you can return to multiple times without feeling like you are retracing your steps for no reason. It will likely hold that position for some time to come and provides a valuable reference for those interested in considering the ramifications and implications of AI’s blossoming power in human society."

    Garth Thomas, The Hollywood Digest