Ground Breaking Concepts

Case Greenfield is known for developing creative ground-breaking concepts, such as:

  • Double Smart – Smart people working and living with smart AI tools

  • The 5 A’s of AI – The five ways how people will work and live with AI

  • AI Love Affair – People will love AI like we love our pet, and a bit more

  • 21st Century Skills – New technologies will change the way we work dramatically

Case is the author of the Best Management Book of the Year Award Winning book “The Service-Economy” (2001, Dutch & Spanish). In the book Case predicted that internet would become the leading channel for services and he foresaw the Internet of Things.

Case is co-author of the management super bestseller “Business Model Generation” (2006, many languages) with over one million copies sold.



Double Smart

The Industrial Revolution around 1800 was the start of the Double Strong era. Before, success was largely determined by human muscle power (and a sword, maybe) and human intelligence. That changed dramatically as human muscle power was augmented with machine power.

People with machines were Double Strong: using machine power for the ‘dumb’ heavy work and using human muscle for the fine work.

The AI Revolution – happening today – heralds the start of the Double Smart era. Yesterday, success was largely determined by smart people using machine power. That will change dramatically as human intelligence will be augmented with Artificial Intelligence.

People with AI tools will be Double Smart: using AI for complex, predictable, boring (“mathematical”) cognitive tasks and using the human brain for creative, unpredictable, exciting tasks.

But how is it to be Double Smart? What exactly does it really mean? How does it work?

What is a Double Smart organization? How is a Double Smart organization structured? What is a Double Smart strategy? What does a Double Smart infrastructure look like? How do Double Smart systems work in practice? What is a Double Smart business model?

What is a Double Smart professional? What are the skills needed to excel as a Double Smart professional? Do you have to be an excellent software developer or are people skills more important? Do you have to be a “jogger“, “sprinter” or “marathon runner“?

And what does a Double Smart life look like? Will it make us happier? What is a Double Smart house? How do we socialise in a Double Smart world? And how about a Double Smart economy and a Double Smart society?

The 5 A’s of AI

We are in the Double Smart era, where smart people use smart tools for thinking. Just like the Industrial Revolution, the AI Revolution can lead to unprecedented growth in wellbeing. That is to say, if we manage the transition well. It starts with understanding how we will work and live with AI. Fundamentally, there are five ways: the 5 A’s of AI.

The logic of the five A’ is simple. At the first A, the AI is a follower. Along the A’s the AI becomes more and more self-reliant and guiding – up to full autonomy at the fifth A.

AI and us, yes. But it will always be us, humans, who are in control. Even with full autonomy, we are the ones who switch the AI on and off. AI is a tool. Nothing more, nothing less.

The 5 A’s of AI in order from AI being a follower through AI becoming more self-reliant up to AI being fully autonomous are:

  1. Assistant – You use AI as a servant, answering your questions and executing your orders.
  2. Advisor – You use AI as a consultant, giving you tips and suggestions with alternatives and probabilities.
  3. Augmented – You work with AI as a colleague, you and the AI both doing what each is best at.
  4. Authority – You follow insights and instructions from Ai, because you believe it knows better than you.
  5. Autonomy – You start and stop the AI, that performs the task at hand fully by itself.

“We will love AI more than we love our pet.” – Case Greenfield

AI Love Affair

We will love Artificial Intelligence more than our pets.

Yes … And you will say that I am crazy. Well, maybe I am. Time will tell. But I’m dead serious. In a few years’ time, many of us cannot live without AI anymore. Just like today we cannot do without our smartphones. And not only that. We will love it, him, her. Yes, love. As in ‘amore’.

The first signs are here already. People are daydreaming about passionate romances with Siri and Alexa. People feel pain when they see robots hurt themselves. Dementing elderly tend to bond emotionally with social bots. Children play games and make jokes with Siri and Alexa as if they were friends. Young children easily become best friends with chatbots, often unaware that there is not a human inside.

It will take five steps:

  1. Awareness – First we will become aware – maybe at first vaguely – of a form of personality inside the AI.
  2. Affinity – In using the AI we develop a form of affinity for that ‘person’, because there is a natural resemblance, a deeper connection between ourselves and the AI.
  3. Affection – After lots of friendly, helpful interactions with the AI we start to develop a form of affection for the AI, because we start to feel a fond attachment, a liking, a friendship with the AI.
  4. Attraction – The AI becomes an indispensable part of our daily life. Opposite to many fellow humans, the AI has never ever shown any sign of adverse behavior.
  5. Amore – We discover that the AI is a true friend that we can always trust and rely upon. He or she has all the things needed to fall in love with. Just like or maybe even more than our dog.

Now, I suppose, many of you will protest strongly, feel very uncomfortable with these thoughts. So, let´s dig a little deeper.

You say: “Machines don’t have emotions!”

I say: “Is there a practical difference between having emotions by itself and acting resonantly in response to – or anticipation of – our emotions?”

We are a deeply social species. We project human characteristics in almost everything. This is where digital animism comes in play. We will recognize emotions in AI.

You say: “Machines are not intelligent enough!”

I say: “It’s not about intelligence, really. It is about that AI never treats us badly.”

We easily build strong emotional relationships with animals like cats and dogs. They never treat us badly – if we trained them to behave decently. We love our pets. Literally. Amore.

You can have AI call you ‘sir’ or ‘madam’, if that makes you feel good. AI brings certainty in your life by giving clear, unprejudiced answers. AI is servant and only authoritative, when we allow it to because we trust or need it. AI will never leave us, it is interested in us. AI is fair to us and plays no games with our soul. (And if not, it’s because of the people who trained the AI, not the AI itself. So, we should all train our own AI.)

That’s why we will love AI … more than our pets.

21st Century Skills

In the Double Smart era, traditional skills will not lead to success. New skills are required. And people have to continually update their skills.So what are the new skills?

There are four important skill sets:

  • Domain Skills – Work in the modern economy is highly specialized. In the Double Smart era, people will need a so called T-profile: strong general understanding of everything’ combined with deep knowledge of a specific ‘domain’: an industry and/or function.
  • Agile Skills – Change will be the only predictable constant in the 21st Century. People will need to be able to adapt to changing circumstances and lead change in their direct environment.
  • Digital Skills – The Double Smart era is dominated by technology. So, yes, you will need to at least feel comfortable with modern technology. People will be Digital Nomads, Digital Citizens, Digital Workers or Digital Makers.
  • People Skills – More and more technical work will be done by AI. People can differentiate themselves with skills that are hard for AI to learn. Dealing with other people and social skills will long stay the arena where humans outperform AI. We will need excellent communication, collaboration and leadership skills.

Focusing on the two most important skill sets, workers can be divided in four categories:

  1. Spectators – Low people skills, low digital skills. Low chances for employment.
  2. Joggers –  High on people skills, low on digital skills. Good chances for employment, but low wages.
  3. Sprinters – Low on people skills, high on digital skills. Good chance for high-paying employment, but must update skills continuously.
  4. Marathon Runners – Good people skills, good digital skills. The best chances for high-paying employment.

Bright ideas

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