If intelligent agents aren’t working for us, as OUR agents, they’re stupid.

That’s the best one-liner I can think of right now.

It’s so hard to make this stuff clear, because the default for so long in the digitized business world is to assume that agency itself is a corporate grace and not a human one. And that every new tech that comes along ought naturally to be corporate and not personal.

But we do have breakthroughs. We saw it with personal computing, which was an oxymoron in the corporate before it became abundantly clear that individuals could do far more with computing than centrally controlled corporate departments ever could. We saw it with networking when it became clear that an any-to-any design that empowered every human connected to it would do far more good than closed and centrally controlled corporate networks ever could. We saw it with mobile devices when it became clear that the power to run apps in one’s own hand-held networked computer was a far better for everyone than any phone company ever could have provided.

And now we’re ready to make the next step with all three of those personal graces, together. Intelligent agents are just one of the tools we’ll use. The list of others is much longer than the one I shared in my post.

So I just added a few words to that post (the one you’re responding to) making it clear that the intelligent agents in marketing fantasies are not ours, and that the ones we’ll have — as extensions of ourselves — are the ones that truly matter.

Love what you’re doing with the Digital Life Collective.

Written by

Author of The Intention Economy, co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto, Fellow of CITS at UCSB, alumnus Fellow of the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard.

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