Published On: Fri, Oct 28th, 2016

The future of Artificial Intelligence (Part 1)

Will your Industry be impacted? 

Ben Bradshaw

Many decades ago people fantasised of flying cars and AI robots, but with technological advancements growing at such rapid speeds, fantasies that once seemed like ‘high in the sky’ dreams are now plausible realities!  

However, as our world continues to create new and exciting developments within the artificial intelligence industry, many now wonder how such advancements will impact  the future of entrepreneurs, and workplaces in general.  

As the debates, excitement and concern grow around AI, it has been widely reported that 47% of current jobs could become redundant by 2025; although there are also many who believe this figure to be exaggerated. For example, more conservative estimates forecast unemployment to rise by roughly 2% by 2021, and 10% by 2030 (according to a report by Techcast Global).

It’s understandable that there is concern surrounding the development of such technology – specifically, what impact it might have on the job industry – but it’s important to remember that throughout history, we’ve always seen a connection between technological advances and new job avenues/industries. For example, according to The Atlantic (2016), since 1980 we have typically seen substantially faster growth within occupations containing above-average computer use (0.9 percent per year) than those who don’t.

Meanwhile, when it comes to the world of Entrepreneurs many believe that AI advancements are least likely to affect creative industries, as the level of intelligence and creativity central to the human experience is ‘difficult to automate’ (McKinsey Quarterly, 2015).

So which industries are likely to be affected by the development of AI?

HEALTHCARE

It has been reported that in some cases, major medical and pharmaceutical companies are already harnessing the power of artificial intelligence; with machines such as Johnson and Johnson’s Sedasys system already approved by the FDA to automatically deliver anesthesia for colonoscopies (FOW Community). The reason for such developments comes down to cost and efficiency, and it has been reported that not only are these machines cheaper than the cost of hiring a dedicated anesthesiologist, but they also have a higher ‘diagnosis’ rate than humans! With revelations such as these, it’s easy to predict that the future of healthcare will likely continue to be impacted by the AI revolution.

MANUFACTURING

AI advancements in the Manufacturing industry are nothing new, however as time progresses, it’s predicted that we will see AI robots begin to assemble more complicated items, including electronics, cars, or houses (FOW Community). It’s not so surprising really, and when it comes to tedious tasks that can be better performed by a robot as opposed to unnecessary labour, it makes a lot of sense.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

'Sophie' - By Hanson Robotics

‘Sophie’ – By Hanson Robotics

Earlier this year, the world was stunned when Hanson Robotics released their humanoid robot ‘Sophie,’ whose life-like expressions and speech made its dreams of ‘one day creating a business and having a family’ almost seem plausible! While this may sound amusing, given that we’ve already seen supermarkets move further away from human-run checkouts, to self-service facilities, it’s possible we could in the future see robots such as Sophie begin to take over ‘robotic’ and mundane tasks.

Further, through platforms such as Facebook Messenger and various apps, we’ve also seen a rise in the use of chatbots – ‘digital assistants’ that are likely to continue disrupting the way we provide customer service in the future. Presently, chatbots are assisting customers with everything from ordering an UBER or Pizza, to finding the latest news or getting a personalised travel consultant experience, so the sky really does seem to be the limit!

These are just some of the many industries likely to be impacted, and I’ll have many more to discuss in Part 2 of this article in the coming weeks. In the meantime, what are your thoughts? Are you in an industry deemed to be at the mercy of AI? 

About the Author

sharon@evokecommunications.com.au'

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