We are on the brink of a dramatic transformation
Already, robots and increasingly intelligent software systems are taking on ever more sophisticated jobs. But where is this heading?
We are used to automated production lines and self-service machines in place of assembly line workers and checkout staff, but are organisations sufficiently prepared for robots and intelligent machines taking on the knowledge based tasks that we thought only humans could do?
New technology developments present real challenges for business, policy makers and wider society:
- what changes will this mean for the global economy and levels of employment?
- what value is placed on human behaviours, skills and understanding?
- where is the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) all heading?
Our latest discussion paper explores the real challenges that AI presents for business, policy makers and wider society.
In the past, new technologies replaced manual work in certain sectors and environments, such as manufacturing production lines. This new wave of technology advancement is different because it has the potential to automate the work of skilled knowledge workers as well; financial traders replaced by algorithms and medical staff by digital diagnostic tools.
The emergence of a model of work based entirely on interactions between machines – the "autonomous economy" as identified by W. Brian Arthur, Economics Professor at Stanford University – risks rendering swathes of jobs obsolete as digital processes communicate with other digital processes to create instructions and take decisions.
Despite the increasing sophistication of technology, some argue that there are still many human qualities that machines cannot easily replicate. But for how long?
We can already see significant progress in machine intelligence across a number of human capabilities.
As AI evolves in the future, meeting and subsequently exceeding the capabilities of humans, more significant questions will emerge around the risks and rewards associated with the technology.
While the future is uncertain, it is important that business leaders evaluate and respond to the opportunities that automation and AI technology offer.
We encourage organisations to take three simple steps to better understand and prepare for a future that is very different to today.
At PA Consulting Group, we help our clients look to the future and design an organisation or business model that is fit for the future rather than built to succeed in the past.
To speak further to a member of the team about establishing a horizon scanning workshop, scenario planning or exploring the impacts of automation on your organisation, contact us now.