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A year filled with massive disruptions means a new future is on the horizon—one that’s different from what the world expected. And recent rapid digital acceleration has placed technology at the center of it all.
There’s never been a better time to start or grow a career in technology.
Accenture Technology Innovation Global Lead Marc Carrel-Billiard shared his expert insights into the future of tech—and tech careers—during a recent Reddit Ask me Anything® session.
The future of technology
What “hot” technologies is Accenture working with?
Cloud is obviously still a hot topic as an innovation enabler and as companies continue to migrate operations to the cloud. Accenture has been doing innovative work in R&D labs for more than 30 years. Our annual Technology Vision reports cover the work we do there, as well as technologies on the horizon.
In 2019, we started talking about DARQ—distributed ledger technology, applied intelligence (AI), extended reality and quantum computing—which is something we’re actively bringing to clients.
Today, quantum computing technology is advancing rapidly. We’re also doing co-research with many of our clients, such as in the areas of neuromorphic computing relating to the trend toward “smart everything” and materials sciences, creating the experience of the future in next-generation cars.
What’s your take on the rising blockchain economy?
When we talk about blockchain, we have to talk about multiparty systems sharing data (see our Tech Vision 2021 trend, “From Me to We”)—companies and partners driving trustability while increasing value and collaboration. For example, multiparty systems are crucial in the fight against COVID-19, from vaccine creation to distribution.
What’s the future of conversational AI?
Our AI group in Accenture Labs is working on context-aware and smarter AI systems in order to enhance the human-machine collaboration. There is still plenty of work to do to develop more “scriptless” conversational AI, and more value to be captured in this space before we achieve artificial general intelligence.
Here is another perspective on conversational AI from our Bangalore Lab.
How will natural language processing (NLP) technology evolve?
I think we will continue to see it used more often outside of the advanced tech industry. For example, during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, we joined a project that helped medical scientists research and process vast amounts of papers and journals by creating a “knowledge graph” and leveraging it using NLP.
Why is responsible tech so important?
Responsible tech is so important for society—and it’s a key priority for Accenture. Using technology in the right way can help us create a more sustainable world, help people with disabilities and help eliminate bias. Our people are doing important work in the Tech4Good space.
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If I could talk to me at 20, I’d say: Be a disruptor. Be a force of change.
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The past, present and future of tech careers
What’s more important in tech consulting, depth or breadth?
At the early stage of your career, I think it’s good to specialize, become an expert, build a reputation in an area. And as you grow in your career, you can expand your breadth and tap new, younger experts to help support—and never stop learning and growing.
How do you keep your team “upskilled” for the future?
We spend a lot of time with our people to ensure they stay motivated and passionate about the work they do. Most of the people on my Tech Innovation team are really passionate and curious about technology and R&D. It really motivates our “labbers” when we apply their R&D activities to solve a real business problem or help make the world a better place.
We are committed to continuous learning and development for our people. We even offer an internal global program called TQ (Technology Quotient), to help our people stay up-to-date on the most leading-edge technologies.
What career advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
I haven’t faced too many tough obstacles throughout my career—I’ve been really lucky to have the support of my company and my clients.
If I could talk to me at 20, I’d say: Be a disruptor. Be a force of change. Go for what you believe is right. Follow your passion. And I’d tell myself I don’t have to shut up more often, even though Mom told me to (but maybe I should have sometimes).
Join us, and do extraordinary things.
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