Another day, another robot scare report. This time, Oxford University is saying that artificial intelligence (AI) will outperform humans at all tasks within the next 45 years, if not sooner.
Researchers wanted to find out how long it would be before AI achieved what they’re calling “High-level machine intelligence” (HLMI), which is achieved when unaided machines can accomplish tasks better and more effectively than human workers. According to Oxford University’s findings, AI will outperform humans in activates such as language translation, writing bestselling books, truck driving, working in retail and performing surgical procedures.
Automation is inevitable, but ultimately what will be automated will be what humans want to be automated. And some of the time, companies are going to end up automating things that they realise should be done by humans after all.
With the help of Robotic Service Orchestration (RSO) technology, we can orchestrate services across a human and digital workforce to get the right worker to do right task at the right time. As we move to an increasingly automated workforce, this is going to become increasingly important. While there are jobs that will absolutely and positively remain in the human realm, these jobs will likely benefit from some sort of robot interaction which will have to be managed.
RSO can also be used to ease the transition and effectively "install airbags" in the automation process. RSO can help to ensure that it’s easy to switch back from digital to human, if there are any unexpected side effects from moving to an automated agent instead of a human one.
Here are a few of the top jobs that are likely to escape being taken over by robots and will instead be changed and improved by robots, and will most definitely require some orchestration to deliver a new realm of end-to-end supercharged services.
Cognitive AI is already changing the future direction of doctors in a hugely positive way, making it possible for them to make longer term predictions on health and disease based on the optimised analysis of big data against specific diseases and conditions.
The doctor and patient relationship will never be replaced because people want personalised communication regarding their health, but AI will enable doctors to get better value out of the data available to them in order to make healthcare decisions easier and possibly earlier, which could save lives. The key to this will be encouraging a culture where we can securely share as much of our health data as possible, and creating efficient ways to ensure that data feeds into the right channels.
We are not that far from a future where wearable IoT enabled devices monitor our health, feeding data back to AIs who can produce predictive outputs. But people won’t want to hear these results from robots – think about it, do you really want a complex and possibly bad health forecast delivered by a machine?
Instead, perhaps one of the new roles of the future will be human Predictive Healthcare Assistants, who we might visit regularly to discuss the recommendations of AI generated healthcare advice.
The role of AI and the new opportunities for new services it can create will drive an increased need for orchestration between robot and humans. It’s this orchestration that will help keep the balance between the essential levels of humanity required for personal medical care, and the new capacity AI and automation will deliver to the medical profession.
You might be fine with a machine clarifying all relevant case law to your barrister … but you probably don’t want it arguing in court if your freedom is at stake.
Like a lot of jobs that require expertise applied to decision-making, law, especially sensitive or subtle areas such as divorce and human rights law, is unlikely ever to be wholly automated.
However, there are many areas of law where automation will really come into its own, and law firms are definitely not lagging behind in the race to automate the obvious.
Nearly 100% of the work involved in conveyancing a property purchase may in the near future, be automated – news that will be music to the ears both to law firms and clients who face long waiting times for these services which often fall to the bottom the priority list.
Many of us will have experienced critical legal situations where speaking to a lawyer takes a toll on the wallet – in some situations, every conversation is a billable conversation, no matter the nature of the discussion. By introducing automation to handle routine, repeatable procedures or to answer standardised questions, law firms may be able to focus on higher value work while also saving their clients some money.
However, as with any end-to-end service, orchestration is essential to ensure that what is accomplished is an actual service rather than a series of tasks that don’t actually deliver any value to clients. Law firms will no doubt be looking to robotic service orchestration platforms in the future.
Many companies have introduced automation into HR shared services but have yet to really experience its full benefits, while others have introduced it only to find that automating the wrong processes helps absolutely nobody.
Others still may have been successful in implementing automation in a limited way, but have yet to successfully orchestrate how automation can best work hand in hand with a human workforce, and how automation can actually improve levels of employee engagement.
Where companies need to get to is a place where they can control automation and end-to-end robotic activity, as well as activity taking place in other systems. Giving people the right tools and putting them at the forefront of these operations is where great service delivery begins.
It’s only when this control of automation is in place that companies can begin to create powerful, standardised HR services that can be rolled out flexibly according to specific requirements such as location.
As automation increases, the technology landscape is set to see robotic service orchestration become mainstream. The future of the human and digital workforce is bright, and for many industries it’s no longer a question about robots outperforming humans, but one where humans can ask how automation and AI can help professions unlock value and deliver better services that people will love.
Kit Cox, Founder, Enate
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