The modern workplace has already embraced advanced technology with smart devices, paperless workplaces, cloud services and wearable tech that tracks employee productivity. Research collected by flexible workspace specialist Instant Offices shows office workers believe tech integration improves working conditions, efficiency and communication with co-workers. Wearable tech is becoming a part of everyday life, with more and more people relying on devices like smart watches and fitness trackers to help them make more informed lifestyle decisions. In fact, the international market for wearables reached a new high in 2017 with 16.9 per cent growth year on year. Fitbit, Jawbone and Bellabeat have become household names and forward-thinking employers have been keeping a close eye on the rising trend of wearable tech.
Speaking to the BBC this week, chief economist at the Bank of England Andy Haldane said that disruption caused by the Fourth Industrial Revolution would be "on a much greater scale" than that experienced during the First Industrial Revolution in the Victorian period. Advising that the UK required a skills revolution to counteract individuals becoming "technologically unemployed", Haldane said that training was necessary to ensure workers could leverage new job opportunities as they became available in the era of artificial intelligence. The accountancy industry is one sector primed to capitalise on the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning. The sector has already embraced automation, with intelligent software removing the traditional compliance aspect of the accountant role. And, as the government's Making Tax Digital initiative edges ever closer, the implementation of a digital tax system has encouraged accountants across the UK to confront how they view and employ technology on a day-to-day basis.
Much of the discussion of the fourth industrial revolution relates to the disruptive impact of artificial intelligence, robotics, biotech, and big data on the world of work and business. It could lead to huge gains in productivity, wealth creation and human happiness. Equally, it may kill millions of jobs, fuel social tensions, and widen inequality. Civil society's place in this massive societal shake-out, reckons Andy Haldane, is relatively unexplored – but it will be profound. Haldane, the Bank of England's chief economist, is regarded as a "maverick" thinker among central bankers on account not only of his views on banking and financial regulation, but society more widely: from poverty ("scarcity of money reshapes your brain and reshapes your decision-making") to the importance of trade unions.
LONDON: Artificial intelligence, regarded as "essential" to competitiveness, will have a dramatic impact on businesses by 2020, according to a study by India's leading IT services provider Tata Consultancy services. Focused on the current and future impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the seventh Global Trends Study, concluded in June last year, polled 835 leading executives across 13 global industry sectors in four regions of the world, finding that 84 per cent of the companies see the use of AI as "essential" to competitiveness, with a further 50 per cent seeing the technology as "transformative". Exploring the views and actions of decision makers from global companies with average revenues of USD 20 billion, the study revealed AI is spreading across almost all areas of a company. The biggest adopters of AI today are, not surprisingly, IT departments, with two-thirds (67 per cent) of survey respondents using AI to detect security intrusions, user issues and deliver automation. However, by 2020, almost a third (32 per cent) of companies believe AI's greatest impact will be in sales, marketing or customer service, while one in five (20 per cent) see AI's impact being largest in non-customer facing corporate functions, including finance, strategic planning, corporate development, and HR.
Sir Richard Lambert told an audience at Warwick Business School that companies need to take responsibility for the consequences of the rise of the robots. Speaking in the first of the WBS 50th Anniversary Distinguished Lectures held at WBS London at The Shard, Sir Richard outlined the threat to society of the increasing use of automation through machine learning, artificial intelligence and robots. The Bank of England's chief economist Andy Haldane has warned that 15 million jobs in the UK are under threat from mass automation, almost half those employed in the country. The possible destruction of so many jobs has led a number of academics, economists and prominent CEOs, like Tesla's Elon Musk, to predict that governments will have to hand out a universal basic income to citizens. Sir Richard, who was Director General of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) from 2006 to 2011, believes CEOs must make sure their companies shoulder their share of responsibility, either voluntarily or by force of regulation.