Automation is not the enemy

Exerpt taken from original article published by Medium

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Recent headlines would have us believe that artificially intelligent automation is soon going to lay waste to huge swathes of the global workforce. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney was quoted as saying 15million UK jobs faced being automated. A White House report said it would be anywhere between nine and 47 per cent of US jobs.

It’s time for a bit of perspective. We are not facing an imminent workplace apocalypse. Not for most people in office jobs today. The real picture is not nearly as black and white. It is not going to be us versus the robots in a fight for our livelihoods-not yet anyway. Instead, now is an opportunity for us to become better at doing things by learning to work with robots. For most knowledge workers, technologies such as artificial intelligence are more likely to augment how we work rather than steal our jobs.

And we already apply such ‘augmented intelligence’. Mapping apps that use AI to work out the best route for us. Photo software that analyses images to identify content so we can search on objects or scenes rather than sift through manually. Social media that use what they know about us to personalise our experience. Google search. Amazon shopping. Alexa, Siri, Cortana.

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IBM’s Watson AI platform is being deployed in industries including healthcare, education, finance, commerce and IoT. It also famously beat the human champions of TV quiz show Jeopardy! in 2011, winning the $1million prize. Watson is helping cancer doctors make better decisions by analysing patient information against vast amounts of complex data. Elsewhere, it crunches through case histories, medical journals, health records, notes, and patient information to assist with diagnoses and treatments. The aim is not to replace doctors with robots but to improve outcomes and reduce the one in five rate of wrong diagnoses. The aim is to allow more people globally to have access to best of breed clinical care. Another health tech innovator is Intuitive Surgical whose da Vinci robotic systems help surgeons perform operations in less invasive ways and with greater precision and flexibility than humanly possible.

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Reducing the amount of time it takes to digest huge amounts of data is one of AI’s most obvious strengths.

Arria NLG is business software that can analyse data and produce reports in natural language, partnering with IBM Watson for question answering functionality. Kensho can answer questions from financial traders and bankers, and deliver market reports and insight based on instantaneous analysis of huge piles of data.

Technology is getting smarter in ways that can make us smarter. It’s time to embrace the opportunity to bring augmented intelligence into your office.

Above article is an excerpt from the original article. 

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