Business processes influence many different aspects of our daily lives as consumers and workers, whether we realize it or not. Whatever our requests or tasks--ordering your morning latte, applying for a job, finding the right song on a streaming music app, picking out a new car with just the right shade of leather seats--there's a process involved. But many processes are slow, inefficient or otherwise ill-suited to serve the fast-moving demands of today's customers. As we detail in our recently published book, Human Machine--Reimagining Work in the Age of AI, many companies are already using artificial intelligence to automate processes to some extent. But if AI is deployed primarily to displace human workers, short-term productivity gains are about as good as you're going to do.
It is not that hard to believe, how just two decades ago Deep Blue a computer beat a chess grandmaster Gary Kasparov. AI is enhancing itself and is becoming better at numerous "human" jobs -- diagnosing disease, translating languages, providing customer service -- and it's improving fast. This is raising reasonable fears amongst workers and upcoming students. According to The Guardian, 76% of Americans fear that their job will be lost to AI. While it's speculated AI will take over 1.8 million human jobs by the year 2020, however, the technology is also expected to create a 2.3 million new kinds of jobs, many of which will involve the collaboration between humans and AI.
Paul Daugherty: One of our fundamental premises with'Human Machine' is really the "plus" part of human plus machine. There's been a lot of this dialogue about polarizing extremes, that the machines can do certain things and humans can do certain things, and as a result we end up with this battle, kind of pitting what the machines will do versus the humans. We think that creates the wrong dynamics. So with'Human Machine' we're trying to reframe the dialogue to: what's the real interesting space, and really the big space, where humans and machines collaborate--we call it collaborative intelligence--and come together and help provide people with better tools powered by A.I. to do what they do more effectively? And if you think about it that way, we really believe that with A.I. we're not moving into a more machine-oriented age, we're actually moving into an age that's a more human age, where we can accentuate what makes us human, empowered by more powerful tools that are more humanlike in their ability, and that creates these new types of jobs.
The reported clash between the two technology titans is proof that not everyone sees the benefits and dangers of artificial intelligence in the same light. Yet from Facebook's algorithms to Tesla's self-driving cars, it's clear that AI isn't science fiction any longer--and that we're already at the cusp of a new era, with AI poised to deliver transformational change in business and society. As we explain in our book Human Machine: Reimagining Work in the Age of AI, which is based on research with 1,500 organizations, the fundamental rules by which organizations run are being rewritten daily. As businesses deploy AI systems--from machine learning to computer vision to deep learning--some will see modest short-term productivity gains. But others--by understanding and taking advantage of the true nature of AI's impact--will attain breakthrough improvements in performance, often by developing game-changing innovations.
In the next five to ten years, your workplace will look fundamentally different. Thanks to technologies such as artificial intelligence, the internet of things and robotics work as we know it will drastically change. The future of work will come with great opportunities but also with plenty of challenges for organizations. It will require employees and management to adapt and work smarter. AI will augment your jobs, the Internet of Things will provide you with details insights and robotics will replace many jobs.