For Faris and Rosie
They were well into double figures now. Travelling. Talking. Being the boy in the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes. Refusing to use the word idea as a verb but doing it anyway.
They’d started when people wanted to hear from people. They’d gone through the bubble when people only wanted to hear from AIs. They’d waited patiently watching as supposedly super-intelligent algorithms gave frankly really dumb advice. Now it was consultancy 3.0. Clients wanted people again. They wanted human insights, human thinking, creative humanity, human creativity… and they were willing to pay for it. Particularly now there were so few humans who seemed able to do that without checking with an algorithm first.
It was Thursday so it must be London. The driverless car, thankfully one with a vaguely interesting TaxiChat (TM) algorithm, dropped them outside the building. Their faces got them through security and up to the first floor where the conference room was set up. They were ready. This was what they did best. Talking. Discussing. Pushing the ideas. The positive dialectic of real consultancy. They worked best when the debates got dense, when the clients surprised, when black and white turned grey. They shone when it all turned a bit speculative. They loved meeting new clients.
There were two chairs. A monitor.
The AI booted: “Thanks for coming in I’m really looking forward to processing what you have to say”.
They looked around. The office was empty of people… but full of Intelligence.
He started with a joke… The client laughed appropriately.