Four fundamentals of workplace automation

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As the automation of physical and knowledge work advances, many jobs will be redefined rather than eliminated--at least in the short term. The potential of artificial intelligence and advanced robotics to perform tasks once reserved for humans is no longer reserved for spectacular demonstrations by the likes of IBM's Watson, Rethink Robotics' Baxter, DeepMind, or Google's driverless car. Just head to an airport: automated check-in kiosks now dominate many airlines' ticketing areas. Pilots actively steer aircraft for just three to seven minutes of many flights, with autopilot guiding the rest of the journey. Passport-control processes at some airports can place more emphasis on scanning document bar codes than on observing incoming passengers.


Human machine: A new era of automation in manufacturing

@machinelearnbot

New technologies are opening a new era in automation for manufacturers--one in which humans and machines will increasingly work side by side. Over the past two decades, automation in manufacturing has been transforming factory floors, the nature of manufacturing employment, and the economics of many manufacturing sectors. Today, we are on the cusp of a new automation era: rapid advances in robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are enabling machines to match or outperform humans in a range of work activities, including ones requiring cognitive capabilities. Industry executives--those whose companies have already embraced automation, those who are just getting started, and those who have not yet begun fully reckoning with the implications of this new automation age--need to consider the following three fundamental perspectives: what automation is making possible with current technology and is likely to make possible as the technology continues to evolve; what factors besides technical feasibility to consider when making decisions about automation; and how to begin thinking about where--and how much--to automate in order to best capture value from automation over the long term. To understand the scope of possible automation in the manufacturing sector as a whole, we conducted a study of manufacturing work in 46 countries in both the developed and developing worlds, covering about 80 percent of the global workforce.


Harnessing automation for a future that works

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James Manyika and Jacques Bughin are directors of the McKinsey Global Institute, and Michael Chui is an MGI partner; Mehdi Miremadi is a partner in McKinsey's Chicago office, Katy George is a senior partner in the New Jersey office, and Paul Willmott and Martin Dewhurst are senior partners in the London office.


Harnessing automation for a future that works

#artificialintelligence

Automation is happening, and it will bring substantial benefits to businesses and economies worldwide, but it won't arrive overnight. A new McKinsey Global Institute report finds realizing automation's full potential requires people and technology to work hand in hand. Recent developments in robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning have put us on the cusp of a new automation age. Robots and computers can not only perform a range of routine physical work activities better and more cheaply than humans, but they are also increasingly capable of accomplishing activities that include cognitive capabilities once considered too difficult to automate successfully, such as making tacit judgments, sensing emotion, or even driving. Automation will change the daily work activities of everyone, from miners and landscapers to commercial bankers, fashion designers, welders, and CEOs.


Harnessing automation for a future that works

#artificialintelligence

Automation is happening, and it will bring substantial benefits to businesses and economies worldwide, but it won't arrive overnight. A new McKinsey Global Institute report finds realizing automation's full potential requires people and technology to work hand in hand. Recent developments in robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning have put us on the cusp of a new automation age. Robots and computers can not only perform a range of routine physical work activities better and more cheaply than humans, but they are also increasingly capable of accomplishing activities that include cognitive capabilities once considered too difficult to automate successfully, such as making tacit judgments, sensing emotion, or even driving. Automation will change the daily work activities of everyone, from miners and landscapers to commercial bankers, fashion designers, welders, and CEOs.