Nothing endures but change
The world has not experienced a change like this since the ending of Industrial Revolution. It changed the way we see the world around us, even the way we manage our lives, works, business, relationships. Philosophy tells us, “History repeats itself.” From while back, scientists and fiction writers have predicted the emergence of intelligent machines or at it is known now, Artificial Intelligence(AI). Movies and celluloid made us believe that AI will accelerate the doomsday of humanity. Is there any reality in this scenario created in our mind by fiction? Why cannot we think that AI will positively change our relations with the world? Let’s have a deep dive into it.
AI gives machines the power to learn and communicate with its surroundings. The combination of different technologies has made it happen. Voice assistants are already increasing the productivity both in personal and business fields. AI has become the most growing, researched field of study. Around $5 billion is estimated to be allocated for the betterment of AI alone by 2020. Research from Accenture, McKinsey Global Institute, and Glassdoor tell us the fear of being replaced by AI is nothing but overstated imagination. It is estimated however that AI will increase the productivity and growth up to 50% as it will make sure the growth-centric engagement of human labor. In other words, like the industrial revolution, it will change our society and way of living but not by making human obsolete. Let’s see how AI can have an impact on business.
AI Impact on Business
AI is thriving in full swing recently as the computing has become more thoroughgoing thanks to manufacturers blindly believing in Moores Law. Cloud has made the computation easy and relatively inexpensive as you don’t require high-performance PC to run millions of lines of the sophisticated algorithm on your computer. AI, combined technologies capable of disenchanted analytics and integrated with the cloud has already started to change the way people and machines work even the way of interaction between consumers and business itself. The capability to predict business outcomes is mandatory in present competitive markets. And in this field, AI is expected to shine. Access to past and present data will give AI excellent insights about markets and make it capable of predicting the right situations to engage there. Being integrated with cloud and having access to the staggering amount of data on the internet on marketing events, advertisements, even the engagement of people will predict the right way to change the way to conduct business. Nowadays AI is most commonly used for analytics to predict and create personalized services for consumers analyzing their past data and even predict consumer’s necessity in the future. Target is good at this in the US and next time you use your clubcard know where the data is going. AI lets you anticipate the behavior of consumers which will increase the quality competitive service. These will increase business performance eventually.
It is not only analytics AI can help business. It may help for a variety of tasks like controlling the cash and product flow, maintain the daily tasks and end the recurring jobs like scheduling meetings, writing emails. AI can make your job much easy by helping in customer relationship by providing support even in multiple languages, sales even in HR management. These measures are proved to satisfactory to consumers.
AI and Employment
Displacement of jobs may happen for the emergence of AI like it did happen during the industrial revolution. New technology displaced thousands of jobs by creating millions of more new opportunities. It may increase the productivity of labor exponentially. Thus, it will let human to spend their time imagining, training and thinking of new improvements. It is imagination which brought us here from our cave dwelling ancestors. Transitional period for which both business organizations and governments prepare to get accustomed to this new reality might be bumpy. It would take the time to get accustomed to these new norms socially, politically and technologically. Otherwise, an intellectual vacuum may appear and create instability in the system. It is not an easy task to be replaced. The next generation must prepare for this new reality by befriending advancements and learning to think with the possibilities at their disposal. The new reality will create the necessity of new law and order. More technology aware people are expected to participate in administrative roles for better competition. Businesses must have to reinvent business processes to get the most from both human and machine intelligence.
An Italian government agency and the Singapore government is a good example of how AI can make people more effective. Italian agency has automated the customer support using AI which was before conducted by employees. They used to spend most of their time answering customer queries. AI based virtual assistant now takes the queries and handles them through voice calls and web chat. It uses cognitive-semantic along with machine-learning. In three months AI has satisfied more than seventy thousand users and made the employees available for more demanding tasks. The Singapore government has increased security and service quality effectively by using the video analytics for public safety.
What is Ahead?
Our smartphones are more powerful than supercomputers from mid of last century. It gives us insight how computational power and progress may change shortly. There is a good bit of speculation done by Ray Kurzweil with his “Singularity theory,” take a look if you are interested in a topic. Billion allocated for AI investments in coming years. And it will certainly change the way we live. With new reality, new data will arise creating new jobs and industries. Thus, AI will give people the power to imagine and innovate focusing on higher value and taking a more sophisticated decision. To get the most of AI the whole world must be digitized (Smart Cities and Big Data), everyone will have to be requalified to fit new job market (Move towards IT and Engineering). More than half of the world population might not be able, or won’t be willing to adopt meaning we have lost half of the workforce. The World will be making enough value to provide universal basic income to most, but the risk is, what those people do once they have no meaning?
Editors Word: I saw the opportunity to give a little extra for anyone who took the time to read the entire article. Last year I stumbled upon this movie made in 1927. I never watched ancient movies so decided might give it a try and could not stop watching. Not for the effects (there is none) not for the action (its hard at some points to watch) but as an alternative scenario if scientists in their fields will start taking progress too far.