Artificial intelligence and technological developments are set to change the future of businesses, according to a new report released by multi-national corporation MYOB.
MYOB chief technology officer Simon Raik-Allen authored Future of Business: Surviving the singularity. The report discussed the future of technological developments in businesses and the dangers they could face when machines have the ability to think for themselves.
The latest report comes after the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) revealed that almost five million jobs or 40 per cent of the Australian workforce could be replaced in the next 10-15 years because of technological advances.
Mr Raik-Allen believes over the next 30 years, advances in technology will make many of the jobs we do, the businesses we run and the ways we interact obsolete.
“In the near future, massive technological advances in everything from advanced robotics to implanted biological enhancements have the potential to greatly improve our lives,” Mr Raik-Allen said in the report.
The report suggests that many jobs including travel agents, telemarketers and print journalists could lose their jobs to computers and robots.
In the US, The Associated Press (AP) has been using a computer program called Wordsmith to write finance stories and the Australian Associated Press (AAP) has been developing its own software to do a similar thing.
AAP editor-in-chief Tony Gillies told Media Watch it isn’t “about replacing staff with robots”, but rather the new “technology used in this way can help publishers deliver content they would not otherwise be able to deliver”.
In the future, drones could also deliver products purchased online to a consumer’s door step, and businesses will be able to interact via holograms, autonomous baristas could soon make your coffee, and retail salespeople could also be replaced by robots.
“Retail will evolve to where stores don’t sell goods – they sell experiences… (which will) focus on interacting with someone who knows you, understands what you like and can offer new ideas and suggestions based on your digital profile and the latest trends from around the world,” the report said.
Barista Jordan Bell, 22, believes human-to-human communication between a barista and a customer is the most important aspect of the job.
“I love my job, I love working with the people… A robot can’t understand how a person is feeling in their day-to-day life,” he said.
“As a barista part of my job is to have an open forum conversation with my customers, and make them want to come back. A robot doesn’t have that human touch.”
Mr Raik-Allen concluded the report by stating, “it’s only a matter of time before we [humans] understand the machinations of learning, and become capable of recreating this process within a computer.” When they [robots] develop the ability to learn for themselves, humans “will no longer be the dominant species on planet Earth.” – Daniel Walker
Top photo from Jedi RC’s Flickr photostream.