The digital age is termed the age of networked intelligence. Digital is not entirely new in the business ecosystem, but the increased interest is caused by the high rate of (r)evolution in digital technologies at present. Developments in analytics and big data provide organisations with new capabilities to re-engineer business process for better and efficient service delivery, as data is readily available, to the right people, in the right format, at the right time – elements of quality information. The advancements in mobile technology and widespread internet adoption have also given the customers new ways and options to research and purchase their desired products, so the business technology trend is plunging into the digital space. Digital technology has changed the way we live our life, both in public and private.
Artificial intelligence has a lot of promising applications, especially for scaling complex tasks -- be it within IT infrastructure or within business processes -- to mass-production levels. At the same time, AI shouldn't be looked upon as automation on steroids -- it succeeds where it amplifies human activities and creativity, and needs to be designed accordingly.
Technology is leading a new wave of disruption in our society. While powerful governments are worried about the potential implications of "intelligent" systems and robots displacing jobs, we're seeing more examples of such systems enabling business transformations. Intelligent Empowerment is a shift that brings together the best of both worlds: augmenting human intelligence with machine intelligence through the use of data and techniques such as Optimization, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning. The market opportunity is real, with reports of AI being a 15 billion dollar industry, projected to rise to over 70 billion by 2020. IBM alone is investing 3 billion dollars to bring their Cognitive Computing to the Internet of Things (IoT).
Since the financial crisis of 2007–09, many companies have applied lean management to improve cost efficiencies, customer satisfaction, and employee engagement simultaneously, and many programs have achieved substantial impact on all dimensions. Progress on digital, however, has been more uneven. In the insurance sector, for example, an October 2016 FIS study found that 99.6 percent of insurers surveyed admitted they face obstacles in implementing digital innovation, while 80 percent recognize they need digital capabilities to meet business challenges. This difficulty has been compounded by the boom in "insurtech" investments in 2016--topping $3.5 billion in funding across 111 deals since 2015. As macroeconomic conditions continue to put pressure on profit margins across sectors, cost productivity and unlocking new value are back at the top of the senior-management agenda.
Artificial Intelligence is seen by many as a great transformative tech. These questions make people shift from thinking purely about the functional capabilities to the ethics behind creating such powerful and potentially life-consequential technologies. As such, it makes sense to spend time considering what we want these systems to do and make sure we address ethical questions now so that we build these systems with the common good of humanity in mind. Will AI replace human workers? The most immediate concern for many is that AI-enabled systems will replace workers across a wide range of industries.