A whole new world faces us today as the 4th Industrial Revolution brings Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) to come of age.
Although as early as the 1950s, mathematicians had already conjured plans to make machines who think and act like humans, it was not until 2011 when the possibilities became real.
Think of entering your favorite fast-food chain and Mr. Robot meets one at the door, leads one to a seat, takes the orders, brings the food and later the bill complete with the number of calories your meal had sunk into one’s body.
Meanwhile, Jane Fonda (82, Oscar winner) recently vowed not to ever buy in her lifetime another car that has an internal combustion engine. No need for the boycott, now, for most car companies are pursuing their electric cars- one with an electric motor of only 20 parts compared to existing ones with 20,000 parts.
In 2030, electric vehicles are forecast to be the mode of transportation – from motorcycles to buses and trains. The gas stations will become electric charging sites some opting to change a depleted battery to a new one to save one some time.
With cars being ordered to follow one’s beck and call, the need to own one may no longer be necessary, in the process making parking areas as things of the past. Real estate for office could drop in value as work from home technology makes holding office irrelevant as well for as bricks and mortars stores for retail goods and supermarkets as e-commerce comes to the fore.
Two of the most modern “disrupters” have been Uber and Airbnb. Uber is just software, and owning no cars but is today the world’s largest taxi company. Airbnb owns no real estate properties but is the globe’s largest hotel chain.
In warehousing, the application of autonomous mobile robots has been outstanding replacing forklifts and payloaders to lift tons of objects, bring them from one conveyor to another , disinfect large areas and can even clean floors. As the pandemic stopped many from reporting to warehouses, robots have taken over.
Without the human salaries, benefits, insurance and disaster costs, investment in robotics, according to one user, can yield as much as 129% ROI (return on investments) in just six months.
In an A.I. webinar at Finex, we learned that some US$66 billion has been invested in close to 7,000 new deals for AI startups from 2013-2019. From agriculture to finance to utility, it is now used in various industries and some can “make decisions, reason with purpose and interact with humans.”
In the stock and forex trading, AI applications can monitor and analyze trades, place orders and develop trade strategies as found in Switzerland and London. A software operating out of Florida reportedly does 87 percent forecast accuracy on stocks, futures and forex. What is the future of our brokers and analysts?
In banks, from both depositor, borrower and investor viewpoints, relationships are machine directed and “front office conversational banking ” has been mechanized alongside fraud detection and financial advisory services.
In the insurance business claims processes are now automated alongside fraud detection, and policy pricing based on empirical behavior. It is expected that with autonomous cars, vehicle accidents will be reduced saving one million lives a year and lowering insurance “cost”.
Some professionals in the legal and medal sectors can be challenged. It is said that we will face a world with 90 percent less lawyers (some rejoice over this) as computers can now give legal advice with 90 percent accuracy compared to their human counterparts’ at 70 percent.
Many surgeons now operate largely with AI assistance as the machines are more precise in their procedures and are not subjected to human stress that doctors are. We read that soon the so-called “Tricorder X” can soon be installed on a smartphone. Placed in front of a human retina, it can identify 54 biomarkers tied to disease types.
According to Oxford Economics, “the number of robots tripled in the last 2 decades and will multiply to 20 million robots by the year 2030”.
Massive job losses will be seen but new opportunities in AI and IA application, cybersecurity
and analytical skills would be needed ( who can work with big data) and greater demand for softer skills like empathy and interpersonal skills that robots can never hope to achieve- will be in abundance.
(Bingo Dejaresco, a former banker, is a financial consultant, media practitioner and book author. He is a Life Member and Broadcast Media Chair of Finex. His views here, however, are personal and do not necessarily reflect those of Finex. [email protected])
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