We have a saying around here at Catalytic.
“Let people be people, and machines be machines.”
It seems obvious, but, it also seems, in our fascination with AI, we have forgotten this simple rule of thumb. Instead, we (try to) create AI that pretends to be human, often with cringe-worth and/or creepy results. At the same time, we force people to act like robots - crunching mind-numbing numbers; generating standardized, form-based documents; entering data into systems; and, nagging other people to collect data. We have somehow sailed through the industrial revolution, replacing human labor with industrial robots, only to find ourselves white collar, knowledge-based robots - a sort of West World meets The Office.
While I don’t doubt that we will create ever increasingly more powerful, compelling AI, there’s an immediately addressable problem that we have in front of us.
Our workforce is woefully unengaged.
To put it simply, many dislike our jobs – many quite intensely. And who can blame us? One-third of our time is spent collecting and processing data!  We spend over 90% of our time doing tasks that require no creativity whatsoever. Over 70% of our tasks require not even a median level of human empathy.  I’m not quite sure what “a median level of human empathy” means, but it seems bad that we have to mention it at all.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence then that 85% of us have checked out of our jobs. Over a third of us are actively looking for greener pastures.  Setting aside the churn costs and morale implications, think about the sort of output we can expect from such a workforce. How does innovation occur? Oh wait, that’s right. We’re at an all-time low in corporate innovation too. 
One of my former colleagues used to joke that she needed minions to do her menial work so that she could do her real work. We laughed about it — although I suspect she shed a tear or two over it. In retrospect, this is a truer statement than I think we both realized. We all need minions.
The good news is minions are here, and they’re called Pushbots!
At Catalytic, we think about a new workforce comprised of people, bots, and AI all working side by side to accomplish a goal. But, unlike most automation companies (yes, even those that say “augmentation”), we think people are still at the center of most meaningful work. People just need Pushbots to offload those low-value tasks so that we have more time for the high-value activities – like creativity, empathy, and innovation.
So what is a Pushbot?
Think of a Pushbot as your new team mate. It knows the business process (it’s not magic — it’s because you told it so). It helps people know what to do and when so everyone will be on the same page with seamless handoffs, and total visibility into all the things that are happening. Pushbot is also super happy to do those things that we people hate doing — crunching mind-numbing numbers; generating standardized, form-based documents; entering data into systems; and, nagging other people to collect data. It has hundreds of bot and AI tricks that will make your team operate leaner, faster, with better quality.
How do I get one?
I’m glad you asked. Really glad, in fact. We want to free everyone from their robotic tasks. We want to empower people so that they can transform their jobs into work they will love!
Right now, we are starting with large enterprises. Think about it. That’s where this pain is most excruciating. That’s where small gains add up to big gains when multiplied by the scale of what a large enterprise does.
So if you’re a large enterprise and interested in a true partnership in this brave new world, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org or hop on over to our web site to learn more and sign up at http://www.catalytic.com.
If you’re a smaller enterprise, don’t fret. We still want to be your friend. Just drop us a note and we’ll keep you in the loop as to where we are, and our ability to serve you.
 Where machines could replace humans—and where they can’t (yet) | McKinsey & Company  Four fundamentals of workplace automation | McKinsey & Company  85% of People Hate Their Jobs, Gallup Poll Says  State of the American Workplace  Why We Can’t Innovate