Date posted: 28/11/2018 5 mins. min read

The robots come in peace!

The Acuity verdict on the latest business books and resources on artificial intelligence

In Brief:

  • The CA ANZ Library has some great new books and ebooks to help members take advantage of all that artificial intelligence (AI) has to offer.
  • Some recommended books are "The Digital Ape, how to live (in peace) with smart machines" and "Human + Machine, reimagining work in the age of AI".
  • The experts reassure us we are not about to be elbowed aside by a rebel army of hostile robots.

By Alexandra Johnson and Kamala Bain

Science fiction has long explored everything from the prospect of domination by artificial intelligence (AI) to biddable butlers who’ll happily fix you a cup of tea.

Most narratives, however, paint a grim picture of dystopian robotic dictatorships hell-bent on usurping our lofty status as the Übermensch of evolution or gun-toting war machines intent on destruction.

But the future is here and, judging from recent literature, Armageddon isn’t coming with it. AI is, however, revolutionising business, and whether you are a sole practitioner or the CFO of a global conglomerate, you ignore AI at your peril.

The CA ANZ Library has some great new books and ebooks to help members take advantage of all that AI has to offer.

Human + Machine, reimagining work in the age of AI, by tech and business experts Paul R. Daugherty and H. James Wilson, argues that the essence of the AI paradigm shift is the mighty impact it will have on business processes. They describe six new types of hybrid human + machine roles that every company must develop so that machines can augment human capabilities and unlock new levels of productivity and innovation.

How should business prepare for a world expected to be so different from the one we have come to know? Prediction Machines, the simple economics of artificial intelligence (see page 78) dispels the hype around AI, advising that its magic lies not in its absolute intelligence per se, but in its ability to help business leaders make sound decisions. Canadian professors and co-authors Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans and Avi Goldfarb reveal how to combine advances in prediction technology with time-tested tools. And they identify the trade-offs associated with each AI-related decision, such as speed and accuracy or data and privacy.

The Digital Ape, how to live (in peace) with smart machines, by Nigel Shadbolt and Roger Hampson, reassures us we are not about to be elbowed aside by a rebel army of hostile robots. Instead, they argue that humans have always been good with tools and AI is just another. Offering some very human analysis, The Digital Ape is a fascinating and broad-sweeping examination of both our history and the future.

On a more individual level, Don’t Worry about the Robots, how to survive and thrive in the new world of work, is a practical guide to help people navigate the changing business landscape. Dr Jo Cribb and David Glover have gathered insights from a range of successful industry leaders to help you identify what’s going on in your industry, set goals, clarify your personal brand and forge a plan.

Also recommended this month:

  • Factfulness: Ten reasons we’re wrong about the world – and why things are better than you think by Dr Hans Rosling.
  • Meltdown: Why our systems fail and what we can do about it by Chris Clearfield and András Tilcsik.
  • Great at work: how top performers do less, work better and achieve more by Morten T. Hansen, 2018.
  • Alive at work: the neuroscience of helping your people love what they do by Daniel M. Cable, 2018.
  • The CEO next door: the four behaviours that transform ordinary people into world class leaders by Elena L. Botelho and Kim R. Powell, 2018.
  • The grid: the decision-making tool for every business (including yours) by Matt Watkinson, 2017.
  • The $1000 project: an easy guide to mindful saving, active earning and financial wellbeing by Canna Campbell, 2018.
  • What’s your digital business model? Six questions to help you build the next-generation enterprise by Peter Weill and Stephanie L. Woerner, 2018
  • To access these books, go to or contact the library team at [email protected]

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