Author: Peter C. Williams

Are analysts paving the way for the AI revolution?

Over the past few years, it has been hard to ignore stories of the coming artificial intelligence (AI) or robotics age.

Warnings from experts around the potential harm it could cause are coupled with companies reeling at the prospect of making even greater savings. Unlike the previous revolutions that have come before, this one has highly paid professionals such as doctors, lawyers and accountants worried. Their concerns are around the fear of being replaced by a super brain or some animated hologram previously only dreamt up in science fiction shows.

Though some version of the above scenario is likely, you have to put AI in the same context as the paperless office. Over 20 years ago everyone was talking about a world in which paper tickets and a whole host of other documents would be digital. It is fair to say that is a lot less paper is used compared to 20 years ago, but it is more paperlite than paperless.

The concept of employees that you only have to pay for their upkeep, which works twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and takes little to no breaks will naturally excite organisations. This concept is driving leaders into either commencing or looking to start their version of a Robotics programme. However, the significant savings can often blindside them into investing in expensive software and hardware, without fully quantifying how this new technology can be fully adopted within their organisation.

In 20 years+ of working I have seen countless businesses put all their eggs in one basket with one or two big strategic programmes and then only two years in seeing them either reducing the scope or having to write a blank cheque to cover the ever-increasing costs associated with the delivery.

When it comes to Robotics