An attempt to predict the fields that will remain human-centric even as AI becomes increasingly ubiquitous
The inspiration for expanding upon my prior predictions came from a recent phrase that I heard, “whatever can be automated will be automated”. With such obvious monetary incentives for organizations to automate, the million dollar question is how should a tech professional best prepare themselves for the future. In order to answer that question, we need to dive into which processes can be automated and what the implications will be for tech professionals.
UiPath, a leader in robot process automation, outlines five sets of criteria to determine whether a process should be automated. While their criteria focuses on RPA, the concepts translate well to other areas that can be automated.
Criteria #1: Employee Involvement
Time consuming or rely heavily on manual efforts. Manual efforts leads to errors in processes.
Criteria #2: Complexity
Complexity can be a good or bad thing when considering automation. Assessing complexity can be based on the number of applications/systems involved, the frequency of human intervention, and the number of steps required to complete the process. Higher complexity processes might be more desirable to be automated, but could also be more difficult to automate.
Criteria #3: Volume
High volume activities warrant more consideration for automation because they would net a higher ROI.
Criteria #4: Standardization and Stability
AI applications are primarily focused on narrow AI. Therefore, the automations require a process to be dependent on rules-based decisions that do not require a computer to make a subjective choice. Subjective choices are for the humans for the foreseeable future.
Criteria #5: Difficulty of Outsourcing
Processes that require more control and autonomy cannot be outsourced. If accuracy and control are top priorities, an internal automation strategy might be appropriate.
In general, automation is perfect for processes that are repeatable, high volume, time consuming, rules-based and will justify the expense of setting up and maintaining the automation.
Narrow AI is nothing like the movies. We are no where near a time where you can talk to Siri and have her create an “Uber-like” mobile app instantaneously. The wave of AI and intelligent automation will increase the number of interactions that occur between computer to computer, as opposed to human to computer. A comical example is…
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