By Stéphane Amarsy,
CEO of D-AIM
Advances in robotization, Big Data, artificial intelligence, digitalization and new technologies have already impacted many business sectors and accelerated their transformation. One of the key issues is the place humans will have in this new environment.
Widespread use of robots
Automations and robots are quickly becoming part of the mainstream. There has been a recent surge in the use of robotics in banks, supermarkets, public transport, the public sector, self-service and even robotics consulting. Algorithms already choose which services, purchases or paths are recommended to us. Once deemed too costly, the cost of such technology has fallen sharply and allowed for their widespread use.
What’s more, they have developed skills that were previously unique to humans. With their artificial intelligence, self-learning and mastery of language, robots—both physical and virtual—can now adapt to their environment with unparalleled versatility. A panel of scientists believes that robots will be smarter than humans in under 20 years.
The challenges of automation
All sectors and professions, including the most highly trained, could be affected by this revolution. The idea that we can circumvent these changes is a sign of future obsolescence. While still works in progress, the world’s first customer relationship robots, such as host and sales robots, have made headlines. In the healthcare sector, it is estimated that 60% of the world’s hospitals will have introduced artificial intelligence systems by 2025.
As with any new technology, automation offers tremendous opportunities. But the full potential of these technologies has yet to be explored. The realm of possibilities, in other words, is far-reaching. To define what place human beings will occupy in this new world, we must address three challenges. The first is the labor market—though difficult to predict, this is a vital area of concern. Secondly, from an ethical and legal perspective, we must carefully consider algorithms in terms of their roles, responsibilities, impact on human wellbeing and legal status. Finally, society itself will be radically transformed. We need to get ready by setting out a clear vision of what needs to be built.
But AI is almost always considered from a technical point of view today, which excludes human beings, along with their future roles and skills. We must now define to what extent these new technologies will benefit everyone and drive the economy. This will depend on how rigorous we are in tackling the ethical issues at stake. The ultimate goal of these changes must always be human wellbeing.
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure.