The dawn of AI: Evolution or Revolution?


At the dawn of 1760, an 80-year revolution was beginning. Economists regard the Industrial Revolution as one of the most important events in history, as the UK waved goodbye to the agricultural age and the new generation of machinery created more output and wealth than ever before.

Steam ahead to the 1980s, the exponential increase in computer use and the collapse of world markets. History is allowed to repeat itself again in 2007, but the increasing sophistication of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics begins to spark the imagination as the next stage of societal development. Looking at the impact these technologies have had on the world of work and you’ll agree that automation is revolutionary.

AI and machine learning have become 21st century buzzwords and are developing a reputation for a reason. Businesses are using robotics to drive increasingly impactful efficiencies while machine learning is employed to optimise processes and gather data. But it’s also, arguably, the next logical step in our evolution. Throughout our history, humans have always sought out tools to make life easier and enable us to achieve more. This profound change is reminiscent of 1800.

How technology shapes our working lives

New technology shapes our working practices, often in unexpected or unforeseen ways. The scaremongering and fear that robots would put everyone out of work was rife in the early stages of AI’s integration into our working lives. Now this technology has become more commonplace, we have seen that large-scale job losses are not in our futures as a result of AI implementation.

Instead, we have seen the new technology increase efficiencies by automating previously labour-intensive tasks such as basic administration and data handling. In the financial services industry, an analyst can spend up to 90% of their time performing such tasks rather than using their specific skill set. This means only a very small sample of cases can be reviewed in a fixed period, so for activities such as first line checking, this leaves firms open to greater risk of mis-selling or poor customer outcomes.

But with the smart application of AI and robotics, firms can now take away much of this administrative burden, enabling skilled staff to deploy their expertise more effectively to reduce review times. The hours returned to the business as a result can be used to check a greater volume of cases to improve oversight and conduct risk management.

There has also been a recent shift in the way businesses judge the prestige of a team or organisation. Previously, size mattered but this has now shifted to a greater appreciation of the efficiency of each team member. Our experience shows that automation and AI can help your teams achieve greater efficiency and put their valuable skillset to good use.

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