It is time for our brains to let robots take the strain. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is here.
As the evolution of our species takes its next step into the unknown, we have some new companions on our journey. Machine learning and A.I. are combining to promise a step change in our productivity and our quality of life.
Robots are taking over the manual and rule-based processes that we find so monotonous, and whole swathes of industry are being transformed.
Much of this work revolves around augmenting the human contribution rather than replacing it. We might not be doing our old job anymore, but we will be free to pursue the valued-added aspects that bring our uniquely human traits of empathy, communication, and creativity to the fore. The subtleties of every human brain will never be replicated by A.I. in their entirety, but the benefits of this incremental “upgrade” are nonetheless immense.
So, what does embracing the 4IR mean?
The first thing that it means is keeping calm and thinking through how we are shaping the new world that is forming around us. We all have a responsibility to each other and to future generations. Accenture predicts that artificial intelligence could increase productivity by 25% by 2035, but our consumer-led societies will still need to be consuming. How do we take practical steps to ensure that the whole of our society can adapt to these changes?
Secondly, my firm belief is that we should be leading this change rather than sticking our heads in the ground and hoping it blows over. UK firms are amongst the leaders in machine learning and artificial intelligence and we are lucky that we can influence the global debate. Events such as our “Making the Promise of RPA a Reality” on the 16th May will concentrate the best minds on where the opportunities (and threats) might lie. There is no question that we will have to adapt, but if we are not actively involved in the debate, we will be making decisions in the dark.
Lastly, embracing change is essentially about being selfish. These technologies are already making their impact on us as individuals, and they have the potential to change our lives just as much as the last industrial revolution. The NHS working to augment the 111 service with an automated “health assistant” system is just a small example. Our lives are being transformed in so many ways, and we will yearn to continue the progression for ourselves and our children.
While these changes are not happening overnight, we all have a social responsibility to prepare and weigh up the consequences. Educators have to prepare the workforce of tomorrow, governments have to devise a new fabric for society and business needs to find a balance between profits and people. A brand new world is upon us, a world where robots take the strain.
MD, Morpheus Executive Recruitment