Building a Humachine Interface

Organizations need to develop the capability to learn and adapt based on the imagination of their people and the intelligence of their machines.

My most recent book, “Everyday Superhero,” tells the story of how Mae B., a middle manager at DOH Incorporated, achieves the impossible by saving humanity from extinction.

Mae pulls off this incredible feat by activating and integrating the human and machine capabilities at DOH to produce and distribute the 8 billion Field Inversion Gyroscopes (FIGs) required to neutralize the Field Undulating Disturbance (FUD) threatening the lives of every person on the planet.

Mae’s heroic journey mirrors our real-life experience with COVID-19. The activation of human imagination to conceive of messenger-RNA (mRNA) and the integration of machine intelligence and genomics enabled us to develop breakthrough vaccines at breakneck speed to save millions of lives.

Now back to Mae’s journey. With only 44 days to go before humanity is extinguished, Mae and her team must figure out how to scale the production and distribution of different FIG configurations (Reconfigs) to address different FUD variants emerging around the world. They pull this off by creating a Humachine interface that seamlessly integrates human imagination and machine intelligence to “automagically” crank out the Reconfigs and distribute them via a global 3-D printing network (see Figure 1 above).

Figure 1: DOH’s “Humachine” Interface


The organizations that will survive and thrive in an increasingly complex and rapidly evolving data-driven business ecosystem will be those that learn how to creatively integrate human imagination and machine intelligence to bring breakthrough ideas to life. While machines do not yet have the capability to imagine as we humans do, they are already better than us at identifying patterns and generating novel insights from the vast and growing expanse of data that surrounds us.

Today, it is not scale or speed that separates the most successful organizations from the rest. Instead, it is those organizations that can develop the capability to learn and adapt based on the imagination of their people and the intelligence of their machines that will remain relevant in the era of digital ecosystems.

As Learning professionals, have you considered how you will develop a Humachine interface that activates human imagination and integrates machine intelligence to bring the best ideas in your organization to life? If not, what are you waiting for?