We hear a lot of scare stories about automation, particularly when it comes to the workplace. Barely a week goes by without someone claiming we're all going to being replaced by robots, with automation making us redundant by the millions. It's easy to see why we – as employees and as businesses – would panic. But, in truth, artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace is more of a nuanced topic. "AI tends to suffer from quite a polarised narrative," says Rob McCargow, director of AI at PwC, a professional services consultancy.
Much of the focus on artificial intelligence has been on the impact that task automation will have on jobs. While PwC expects that the nature of jobs will change and that some will be susceptible to automation, their newest research, Sizing the prize, shows that AI-driven products and services will also generate significant economic value, offsetting job gains, as well as boosting productivity and average wage levels. Organisations still need to develop approaches to embed AI responsibly into our workplaces and to secure the right talent to make the most of the opportunities created. MARGINALIA spoke with PwC's AI Programme Leader, Rob McCargow (pictured right), to explore the key findings from their new report. McCargow is deeply involved in the IEEE Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems, and so shares important ethical considerations and advice around how to maximise AI efforts in a way that benefit the enterprise, its people, and the society.
Advances in robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) are going to completely change how we live and work but the UK government is totally unprepared, MPs have warned. The Science and Technology Committee released a report on Wednesday warning that the UK government "does not yet have a strategy" for equipping citizens with the skills they need to flourish in a world where AI is more prevalent. It also has no strategy for dealing with the social and ethical dilemmas that AI advances present, according to the report. Acting chair of the Science and Technology Committee, Dr Tania Mathias MP, said in a statement: "Artificial intelligence has some way to go before we see systems and robots as portrayed in the creative arts such as Star Wars. At present, 'AI machines' have narrow and specific roles, such as in voice-recognition or playing the board game'Go'.