18: How to Become a Robot Whisperer with Dr. Tom Guarriello

Get your geek on! This week’s Pivot Podcast is all about robots, artificial intelligence, and automation. How can we become more agile in an economy that is increasingly transformed by these areas? What skills and mindset will best position us for success in the future? How can you become a “robot whisperer” like today’s guest, professor Tom Guarriello? I could talk with Tom about all this for hours, but we contained ourself (for now!) in keeping this week’s episode to one jam-packed 60-minute conversation.

Tom Guarriello has a Ph.D. in psychology and have spent most of his career helping individuals and organizations to improve the quality of their lives and relationships. Fifteen years ago, he co-founded a consulting firm called TrueTalk, Inc., and in 2009, he became a Founding Faculty member in the Master’s in Branding program at New York City’s School of Visual Arts. Over the past few years, he became fascinated with the ways in which modern technologies, especially robots, were changing the psychological landscape, leading him to create a new platform and field of study called RoboPsych.


  • What robopsych is—the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral competencies to work with robots

  • Delight: how we can augment the experience of robots by adding the creative, empathic insights and engagement that only humans can deliver

  • Getting creative with how we manage anxiety about the changing jobs landscape

  • Our growing team of AI assistants: Alexa, Siri, Amy

  • Competence vs. Excellence: Is the learning investment for new skills worth it?

  • Overwhelm from social media: how to embrace new technology while not getting too distracted by it

  • How we can become better futurists . . . or do we need to be?

  • Whether or not we’re the economy that cries wolf on fearing new technologies

  • Tasks being automated and higher-skilled jobs being affected (not replaced)

  • The psychology and integration of self-driving cars

  • Our two favorite new TV shows that capture the zeitgeist of all the above


Listen on the embedded player below or on iTunesSoundCloudStitcheror Overcast:


Keep in touch with Tom Guarriello:

Enjoy the show? Check out other episodes of the Pivot Podcast hereand subscribe via iTunesAndroidStitcherOvercast or SoundCloud. I would also be very grateful if you leave a review and/or rating wherever you like to listen!