The world has witnessed the innovations brought in by artificial intelligence and automation that serve with the greatest benefits to businesses. However, despite all the advantages, their arrival wasn’t a positive impact for everyone. A number of workers were fearful of the job losses and lack of knowledge around automation. But as technology has advanced further, it is expected that things will change from 2020 onwards. A new version of collaboration between machines and humans is emerging this year to zoom into the value of automation and humans working together. Such a version is what we call augmented intelligence.
Moreover, according to Gartner, in 2021, artificial intelligence augmentation will create US$2.9 trillion of business value and 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity globally. Gartner defines augmented intelligence as a human-centered partnership model of people and AI working together to enhance cognitive performance. This includes learning, decision making, and new experiences.
Svetlana Sicular, research vice president at Gartner said, “Augmented intelligence is all about people taking advantage of AI. As AI technology evolves, the combined human and AI capabilities that augmented intelligence allows will deliver the greatest benefits to enterprises.”
Furthermore, Neil Murphy, Global VP at ABBYY, predicted what Augmented Intelligence will offer in 2020. He noted, as IDC forecasts, that the intelligent process automation software market, including content intelligence and RPA, will grow by more than half to US$20.7 billion by 2023, the adoption of these technologies is set to define whether augmented intelligence can achieve its aim: to make AI and humans work in harmony together once and for all.
According to Neil, around 75 percent of organizations are struggling to recruit digital talents, making room for a boom in the number of digital workers in businesses. Such workers possess the capability to augment automation efforts with AI and ML, working in collaboration with humans. In fact, the contribution of digital workers will grow by 50 percent in the next two years, illustrating a real shift to a future built on human-machine collaboration.
As per his views, the automation can and should be human-centric – humans and machines, not humans versus machines. This is the only way through which human workers can focus on higher-level, creative and socially responsible tasks, and give customers better experiences and faster service. In 2020, businesses that are quick to incorporate digital workers with content intelligence skills within their automation platforms will gain a significant competitive edge.
Moreover, according to a market report, with the process mining market set to triple by 2023, and as more complex deployments of digital transformation technologies ramp up, the ability to monitor a business’ processes will become critically important. However, individual technologies like RPA and BPM only have visibility over the steps they control – so new technology is needed to provide visibility of the process end-to-end.
Neil further noted that to get the insights needed to improve customer service and operational efficiency, and ultimately boost profits, organizations will need to take advantage of process intelligence tools that go beyond more simple process mining and provide a comprehensive view of running processes, giving businesses the ability to act on what they find and improve processes in real-time. While the industry expects to see large enterprises leading the way, some smaller businesses in process-intensive industries like customer service or finance will begin to transform their processes too in the coming year.
Additionally, ABBY marks that currently, less than a quarter of UK businesses are investing in RPA. With more than 4 in 5 of those who have invested in RPA having seen a return on their investment within just a year, with a majority seeing improvements in efficiency, market share, and revenue growth, the industry expects to see the adoption of RPA in the UK boom in 2020. ABBY also predicts that adoption will be particularly strong in the banking and financial services sector, which is already leading the way with 38 percent adoption. By the end of 2020, it is expected that it will be increased to two-thirds of businesses in this sector.
Indeed, Forrester predicts predicts, in 2020 more than a million knowledge worker jobs worldwide will be replaced by RPA bots thereby allowing staff to focus on more complex tasks.
Going beyond just RPA, businesses are seeing even greater benefits when investing in RPA alongside process or content automation technologies – with 71 percent having grown their revenue, compared to 37 percent of those using RPA alone. Again, industry is likely to see banking and financial services businesses leading the charge, to enhance efficiency and productivity in an uncertain economy.
When it comes to leadership, the new challenge for CIOs adopting AI technologies comes down to one thing: ethics. It has now become paramount that CIOs know what uses of AI could cause problems – whether bad, biased or unethical – and what they can do to make sure their business remains on the right side. In 2020, the industry will see CIOs begin to question their AI deployments: are the AI applications they are building are moral, safe, and right? Is the data behind your AI technology good, or does it have an algorithmic bias?
According to Neil, “With augmented intelligence set to the become the new normal, no CIO wants to be known for bad and biased use of AI – especially since the legal ramifications of such actions will ramp up significantly in 2020. This will be the year that AI ethics hits the agenda of every CIO, and businesses, workers, and the public will all benefit from it.”