Fears about AI are a load of rubbish – Capgemini

Capgemini has roared into the AI battle with new research which claims the human cost of automation is a myth.

Jamie Davies

September 7, 2017

3 Min Read
Fears about AI are a load of rubbish – Capgemini

Capgemini has roared into the AI battle with new research which claims the human cost of automation is a myth.

There might be a few people who will raise concern over such a claim, but in a survey of almost 1000 organizations with revenues of more than $500 million, who are implementing some sort of AI solution, there are nothing but benefits. Looking specifically at the numbers, 83% of respondent state AI has created extra roles within the organization, 10% have seen an uplift in sales, while 88% believe humans and intelligent machines can co-exist in harmony.

“AI has the capacity to revolutionize every business in every market sector; its potential is broad and unlimited,” said Ron Tolido, Chief Technology Officer for the Insights & Data Practice at Capgemini.

“However, we are seeing a large contrast between those who are rolling out applied AI solutions at scale and reaping tangible business benefits, versus those who are simply trialling the technology.

“It’s also quite revealing that organizations are focusing more of their efforts on the more complex AI projects and missing out on simpler projects that could drive quicker returns. Organizations, especially those not yet implementing AI at scale, should focus on those low-complexity, high benefit projects to quickly and better leverage the power of AI.”

Another statistic which might be worth mentioning is the 71% who have been actively upskilling and reskilling employees to deal with the change. This is all well and good, but it might be worth taking this research with a pinch of salt. Of the 83% who believe new roles have been created, it does not mention how many of these roles are given to current employees.

Firing a 40 year old who cannot do the new job and hiring a 22 year old graduate who is a trained data scientist is not an answer to the naysayers of artificial intelligence. We’re not saying the companies are doing this, we are simply pointing it out. The research does not address this area, but simply states new jobs will be created. This is a given, a point which everyone in the industry accepts.

“What we really want to do is to use humans to the best of their capabilities,” said Michael Natusch, Global Head of AI at Prudential. “AI is taking away the time humans previously spent on repetitive issues and allowing them to focus on where human intelligence can drive value – for both themselves and for customers.”

This is the promise of AI, and it would appear the benefits are being felt in those industries which would be deemed regulated. Telecoms, finance and retailers are the ones which are leading the charge, though this would make sense due to the fact that engagement with customers is very transactional. The majority of the time these are not unique conversations; these are the perfect ones for an entry point for AI.

There will clearly be benefits to implementing an artificial intelligence solution, but the point seems to be missed here. It’s not the jobs which are being created which is a pain-point, but the ones which are being removed. Not everyone who does a monotonous task in a bank is going to be qualified to take advantage of the more value orientated roles which are created.

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