Duncan J Wardle


With the rise of artificial intelligence, it is estimated that over 30 million people will lose their jobs in the U.S. in the next decade. That’s 10% of the population. Indeed, how will we compete with robots that are estimated to be a thousand times more intelligent than us by 2030?

- Duncan Wardle

In this brave new world, four of the traits we are all born with will rise to the top if we are to compete and find solutions to challenges big and small. We are all born creative, with an amazing imagination. We were once curious as a child asking why, why and why again and we all have a second brain, one with over 100 million neurons that fires our intuition every single day—but our education system and corporate culture has failed to channel those skill sets productively—and yet now find these skills sets of vital importance simply because they can’t be programmed.

A recent study by Oxford and Yale University researchers suggests that by 2053, robots will beat us at translating languages, writing essays, and conducting surgeries, indeed they expect all human jobs to be automated within the next 120 years.

That said it is my conviction that robots, big data, and AI, as disruptive and extraordinary as they are sure to be, will never be able to compete with human intuition and the unique and mysterious combination of elements that constitute our emotional intelligence and creativity.

There’s no doubt that AI will generate hit pop songs and maybe even write killer screenplays, but they will never be able to reach into our hearts as only human storytellers can do. Indeed, the built-in that makes us human—creativity imagination, curiosity, and intuition—will only become more valuable, not less, as the ranks of robots swell. And while data and artificial intelligence can combine to achieve extraordinary things, they will not be able to eclipse the human imagination.

As Head of Innovation and Creativity at Disney, Duncan and his team helped Imagineering, Lucasfilm, Marvel, Pixar, and Disney Parks to innovate, creating magical new storylines and experiences for consumers around the globe. As founder of iD8 & innov8, he now brings his extensive Disney experience to organizations around the world using a very unique approach to Design Thinking that helps people capture unlikely connections, leading to revolutionary thinking and disruptive ideas.

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