Skynet/Megatron/i.Robot – Hollywood just messed up the future of work – Coviam future tech business series.

“In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” – Eric Hoffer

 

Some feel Skynet is upon us, and 2020 is the year terminators travel back in time to protect the genesis of superior machines. The cold ruthless self-determining network of Skynet machines, the human assistive but emotionally flawed logical machines of i.Robot, or the Matrix and the human alternate reality constructed by machines. Some very powerful visuals imprinted in our collective fantasy and conscience by Hollywood.

Fear sells, and faith fighting fear sells even better when you sell them as a package and Hollywood does a good job at it. Fantasy meets reality and blends in a blur of a potent Silicon Valley and Hollywood smoothie, as we live digital lives in 2 dimensions 4k psi et al and sacrifice a bit of realism in exchange for a crystal ball showing a possible future or for the spice of fantasy – the price we pay for the California profit machine.

Practitioners feel AI reaching cognitive ability close to human intelligence is at least 5 decades away, of course cognitive tech interlaced with emotive intelligence is another topic that will soon start filling new popular blog sections.

We can either paint doomsday scenarios or join the disruption of business and economic models at a scale we have not experienced in human history besides probably the invention of the telephone, electricity and the internal combustion engine.

Automation is here to stay and there is no denying it. We stand on the verge of a new revolution brought about by the power of the ubiquitous global network, that connects news, services and soon trade of goods at a peer to peer level, instantaneously.  

Traditional business models in retail, telecommunications, banking, services, transportation, healthcare, energy and distribution are being challenged with increasing intensity – the nature of global trade has changed substantially making governing bodies scramble to understand and implement taxation and compliance as the world turns more global and connected.

It is but natural as an evolutionary step for machines to replace humans in rote and repetitive tasks – first experienced in manufacturing and now increasingly in service based businesses. Robot run restaurants, machine learning intelligence playing chess and go against humans, we are a few years away from self driving cars zipping us to our destinations, all at a lower cost and much more efficiently. Machines are quickly reaching and beating humans in pure data analysis and speed of decisions. Silicon circuits are getting better than brain synapses.

The future of work will emphasize higher level human skills, more EQ than IQ – skills like intuition, sentiment, emotional intelligence, compassion, creativity will be at the forefront and prevail but the world currently needs analytical skills to build the machines to replace the IQ elements of work.  

To be continued….

By Deepak Nachnani

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