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June 25, 2018
Artificial intelligence: An emerging paradigm in the era of technology
By: Jonathan Bunce

Will autonomous cars own the roads and machines do the vast majority of our thinking? Has technology advanced so far that vehicles outfitted with thousands of sensors will safely transport humans to a specified destination while we can do other activities like work, play video games, watch movies, and converse during the drive? Will technology automatically know what to order online based on our online behavior and activity analysis? The answer to these questions is yes, and it is happening quickly.

And with that, many people believe and fear that the advancement in technology can create superintelligence that may threaten our entire workforce and livelihood, and thus humanity as a whole. This technology is referred to as artificial intelligence (AI).

Prior to understanding the torrential pace of technological advancement, it is important to understand the relationship between humans and technology. One key feature that distinguishes humans from everything else in the world is intelligence. When you combine this human intelligence with machines, you get artificial intelligence.

AI is the creation of intelligent machines that work in a similar capacity to humans. For example, cars will learn all the rules of driving, have sensors that will continuously scan the surrounding environment to avoid collisions, thus turning cars into complete transportation machines and erasing the need for human drivers. This technology advancement will displace taxi, limo, and truck drivers and eventually sea captains and crews of large cargo ships. This type of technology advancement instills livelihood fear for those working within any of these industries. However, this fear is ultimately unwarranted, as history has demonstrated that more jobs were created than were destroyed during technological revolutions.

Technological progress does not advance linearly but exponentially. A great example is how technology and human intervention revolutionized the 100-year-old taximeter-cab industry. The addition of mobile devices, GPS applications, and online banking transformed the industry overnight and created open employment opportunities for people who embraced the technology.

How will you embrace the advancement of AI developments? What will your job and career look like in five to ten years, and what skills will be necessary? The ability of AI to sort through billions of structured and unstructured data in seconds to support decisions leading to better outcomes will demand different knowledge and skills from the workforce.

In other words, to use AI big data outputs effectively, we need to understand the inherent limitations and build even better platforms and intelligent systems. This requires a paradigm shift in education, team building, and collaborative interconnected knowledge. The Accenture Academy courses The Levels of Artificial Intelligence (AI), How Artificial Intelligence (AI) Increases Productivity, The Impact of Artificial Intelligence(AI) on Jobs and Skills, and The Transition Necessary for Artificial Intelligence (AI) will help your organization gain a deeper understanding about artificial intelligence, its growing importance, and the revolutionary impact it is bringing across industries.

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