Politico: AI is radically transforming business: Are you ready?
The AI revolution is about re-imagining your processes, across all functions, to get the most benefit from this technology’s power to augment human capability.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not the future — it’s here, right now. AI has many forms — it is software that senses what we need, it is a supply chain that can “think” in real time, and robots that respond to changes in their environment. Early adopters across all industries are already using AI to innovate and grow fast, but, as a business or government leader, what does it mean for you?
In a new book, Human + Machine, Accenture leaders Paul Daugherty and Jim Wilson write that, as humans and smart machines collaborate ever more closely, work processes are becoming more fluid and adaptive, enabling companies to change them on the fly or to completely reimagine them. They outline how AI is changing all the rules of how companies and institutions operate and show that it has the power to transform every part of an organization.
Human + Machine
Based on the authors’ experience and new research with 1,500 organizations, the book outlines how companies and institutions are using the new rules of AI to leap ahead on innovation and profitability. It describes six entirely new types of hybrid human + machine roles that every company must develop and includes a “leader’s guide” with the five crucial principles required to become an AI-fueled business.
These insights have been gleaned from Accenture’s experience in bringing together the power of Artificial Intelligence with deep industry, analytics, and technology expertise to help our clients get real business value from these new technologies now. Human + Machine provides the missing and much-needed management playbook for success in our new age of AI.
“A richly detailed guidebook that leaders need to capture the opportunities of AI and the fourth industrial revolution.” — Klaus Schwab, executive chairman of the World Economic Forum
The “Missing Middle”
The authors explain the historical context, starting with the first wave of business transformation initiated by Henry Ford’s use of production assembly lines and pioneering of mass production techniques. In the 1970s automated processes heralded the second wave of business transformation, which peaked in the 1990s with IT advances, such as the desktop, computers, large data-bases, and software that automated various back-office tasks. They outline that we are now in a third wave of business transformation that is being driven by adaptive processes, by AI technologies.
This third wave will be more dramatic than the earlier revolutions and will change the way that we work and live in entirely new and innovative ways. AI is driving companies and governments towards the “Missing Middle”: a space where humans and machines are collaborating to attain orders of magnitude and increase business performance. Unfortunately, popular culture has long promoted a man-versus-machine view — think “2001: A Space Odyssey” and the Terminator series. The idea of intelligent machines as a potential threat of mankind has a long history and has resulted in many executives and institutions adopting a somewhat similar perspective, thinking exclusively of machines as threatening to replace humans.
The book argues strongly that the simple truth is that machines are not taking over the world, nor are they removing the needs of humans in the workplace. AI systems are instead amplifying our skills and collaborating with us to achieve business and social advantages that have previously not been possible. The authors provide an executive guide for overhauling and “reimagining” the traditional notions of work. For example, to exploit the full power of AI, companies must fill the gap by considering new employee roles, by establishing novel types of working relationships between humans and machines, by changing traditional concepts of management, and by overhauling their very concept of work itself.
“Human + Machine shines new light on our burning need to reinvent nearly everything about the way we work. Daugherty and Wilson have hands-on experience leading these changes, giving this book an exceptional level of credibility and insight. Have your whole team read it before your competitors do!” — Erik Brynjolfsson, director, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy