We’ve seen it in movies, in TV shows and even in books and literature – Robots and artificial intelligence are some of the most interesting, but widely feared realities we’re going to face in the near future. Whether this fear began with the likes of literature such as 1984 by George Orwell with its chill-inducing description of a totalitarian reality that utilized technology to control its citizens, or with the initial prediction in 2013 that over 47% of US jobs could be at risk of automation within just two decades, it has been enough to set people on edge.
However, the reality is very different. Nowadays, automation and artificial intelligence shape the way we utilize the internet, from the way we work online, even down to the accuracy of our search results. Technology has completely changed how we operate in our day to day lives and whether you believe this will be for the better or for, the worse, we’re taking a more in-depth look into how automation and artificial intelligence could change in the future.
What Are Automation And Artificial Intelligence?
While automation and artificial intelligence often work hand-in-hand, they are, at their core, two different concepts:
- Automation: Automation refers to the use or introduction of equipment within a certain process that makes said process automatically. No, or minimal human intervention should be needed once the equipment is set up.
- Artificial Intelligence: Artificial intelligence refers to computer systems that can perform tasks that would otherwise require human interaction or intelligence. This can be through speech recognition, visual perceptions, decision-making, translation, and machine learning.
In most cases, both automation and artificial intelligence will need some form of algorithm to work, but once this algorithm has been put into place, it can essentially run on its own. In AI applications, these algorithms tend to adapt through machine learning, maturing, and enhancing with the more data that is collected over time. These incredible technologies are already a core part of our everyday internet and technology use, from a quick Google search to the social media platforms we browse daily.
Automation Is Already Around Us Today
Whether in work or daily lives, automation and AI are already around us. Google, for example, utilizes an artificially intelligent algorithm to better determine what a searcher is looking for, even when it isn’t immediately clear from the search query. This algorithm is known as RankBrain and ultimately ensures that both searchers and businesses looking to be found can be matched up more effectively in the SERPs (search engine results pages) to enhance relevancy and quality of results.
In a business sense, automation and artificial intelligence can change the way companies interact with their clients. Take online support, for example – live chats are becoming increasingly common, but did you know that most of these are bots? With a template in place and a touch of artificial intelligence, businesses can operate an in-depth chatbot that offers the right help to customers, or the right action if it can’t help directly.
In the financial industries, automation and artificial intelligence are helping to bring the monetary world into a digital age. Take Forex, for example – Forex Robots offer a streamlined method for new and experienced traders to get involved in the markets throughout the day, often without having to pay attention at every moment. Automated trading via a robot, or algorithm in these cases, allows traders to reap the benefits of an intelligent trade, without having to dedicate their entire day to keep on top of how each market is performing. While this does come with risks, the use of technical indicators and lack of emotional input allow for smart trading decisions in most cases.
While automation is clearly already a part of our world, this hasn’t prevented the worry about jobs – could AI and automation have as much of an effect as we think?
Which Industries Could Be Affected The Most?
When it comes to automation, the introduction of these technologies tends to be in cases where a process can be streamlined, or where resources and workforce can be freed up to complete other, more complicated tasks. For this reason, there are some industries more likely to see higher levels of automation in the future, including:
- Retail And Trade: Cashier-less stores, automated delivery systems, stock management, and more could all turn automated in the near future and some cases, are already being utilized and tested across the globe. In China, for example, they opened up an unmanned store, and several more have popped up around the world, including an Amazon-run automated convenience store in the U.S.
- Transportation: Autonomous vehicles are nothing new in the world of innovative technology, but how far are we from seeing this tech utilized in public transport? It’s predicted that around 57% of all transportation jobs could be automated in the coming years, with the technology offering increased speed, efficiency, and reduced costs for both companies and their passengers.
- Agriculture: As higher volumes of food are being demanded due to a growing population, the agriculture industry is under increasing pressure to cater to this. For this reason, we could see more and more of our agricultural workforce turn automated – 6 in 10 jobs. Studies have also suggested that the entire agriculture process could be automated, from planting to harvesting.
- Manufacturing: One of the most likely jobs to face automation in the future is manufacturing – machines have already been utilized to streamline a number of different points in the manufacturing process. While certain stages, such as design and initial algorithm implementation, would still need a human touch, for now, artificial intelligence could see even this become automated in the future.
While automation and artificial intelligence have indeed led the world’s workforce to worry and fear, these technologies could work to improve and streamline the way we work. Whether this will affect employment levels has yet to be seen, but it’s an area we’ll be watching closely. What do you think?