Technology changed our lives drastically.
Many daily activities that were unthinkable 20-25 years ago are now a part of daily life. Since then, we started to communicate online instead of writing letters or postcards, we purchase goods via webshops without actually touching the goods before the purchase, and we listen to music without even having to buy an album. Technology has brought a sense of convenience to our lives. But even great convenience comes with consequences.
Technology has also changed our expectations.
Customers today expect companies to be faster, cheaper, more transparent, more honest, and on top of it to be reachable and responsive 24/7, no matter the circumstance.
They have less patience to wait longer on the phone with customer service, as the company has less employees due of a flu epidemic or there is a labor strike to raise the salaries. With problems like these, it would be ideal to have employees who can do the same job as - or even faster and more accurate than - humans. But, at the same time, don’t have a salary, never complain, never show up late,and never get sick. Or wouldn’t it?
Humankind developed the idea of having machines who can ‘’artificially think’’ a long time ago. Who remembers Rosie, the household-robot of the Jetsons, or KITT, the first smart car from the TV series the Knight Rider? It would be a dream come true to give robots the work humans don't want to do and simply enjoy life!
As today’s customers are flooded with products like self-driving cars, artificially intelligent personal assistants and smart bottles that place an order when wine is finished become a part of daily life, the conclusion is obvious: The future humans have dreamed of is right here, right now.
But what if the machines can really ‘’be’’ just like human?
People are selfish, jealous, they steal, cheat, and lie. In short, the human mind is a perfect double-sided knife. If you use it properly, it can be very useful. But it can also be very dangerous in bad hands. So, was it actually a good idea to create artificially intelligent machines that copy humans anyway?
Was the invention of AI enough to seal our fates like Dr. Frankenstein sealed his? Rather, the modern day version of this thriller would be made up of viewers who would not only be scared of the monster itself but would also be wondering if the monster going to take over Dr. Frankenstein’s job!
According to a recent study by McKinsey & Co., 30% of tasks in 60% of current occupations can be easily automatized with existing technology. Automatization doesn't see the difference between educated and uneducated. Accountants and legal assistants are as replaceable as cashiers and taxi drivers. Being replaced by technology is also not only a threat for employees but also for business owners. Disruptive business models, with the help of technology, is challenging companies more than ever. Just think about the waves Airbnb and Uber have made in recent years.
When it comes down to it, we are all in the same boat. Technology is taking over our life, jobs, and businesses so fast, we can almost separate employees and employers in two groups. The group that will be replaced by automatization and the group that stays and faces the challenges. Or in other words, the group that is afraid to be replaced by technology and the group that decides to take action.
Employees and employers are still processing the impact of artificial intelligence. The total impact has not yet been acknowledged. But one thing is certain, ‘’taking action’’ means much more to companies than just creating customer value and competitive advantage by implementing new technologies. Like, for example, replacing a big part of customer service with chatbots. As human are emotional beings, the real challenge is to deal with the emotions of the remaining employees who lose their colleagues and are forced to have less human contact at work.