Technology Should Be Used to Enhance People, Not Replace Them
AI and Automation have been used interchangeably, but the terms are not synonymous.
Technological advancement has undoubtedly improved our lives in ways we could have never imagined 60 years ago. Consider how your smartphone is more powerful than the computers that sent humans to the moon and back. Such impressive technological advancements will continue to improve our lives for many years to come, and we cannot wait to see what comes next.
But with every advance in technology, there are always those who warn of the potential negative consequences. In this case, many people are concerned that artificial intelligence (AI) and automation will replace humans in the workforce. While it is true that AI and automation can do some things better than humans can, they will never be able to replicate the creativity and the drive of a human brain.
That said, we should think about how to use technology to augment people rather than replace them. This is where the concept of " augmentation " becomes important. Augmentation recognizes that humans do some things really well, but also need help with other tasks. In this world of abundance , AI and automation can help humans with repetitive, mundane, and/or dangerous tasks so that they are free to use their creativity and drive.
Before I get into this more , let me share a little about my background in the technology industry. While I was born in Australia, I moved to Canada when I was 8 years old. Growing up near Vancouver, I saw the rise of tech companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and others. My natural curiosity in technology made me start my first business at 15 years old where I taught all things tech to students in Vancouver. At 18, I started working for startups around Silicon Valley in California doing mostly sales and marketing. I then worked at Bell Canada in Product Marketing before moving back to the Bay Area and starting my own company, where I work with startups on their product and go-to- market strategy.
It's safe to say that I have a good understanding of both the potential benefits and risks associated with technology. And after years of working with both startups and large companies, I can confidently say that augmentation will be key to the success of both in the coming years.
So what does this mean for the workforce?
There is no question that AI and automation will have a profound impact on the workforce in the years to come. But rather than fearing for our jobs, we should embrace these technologies and think about how they can help us do our jobs better.
At my company, we work with a lot of startups and I can tell you that many of them are incredibly excited about the potential of AI and automation. These technologies will help them do things they never could have done before, such as creating products at a lower cost and faster time to market.
But it's not just startups that can embrace these technologies. Large companies are beginning to see the potential of AI and automation for their own workforces, too. For example, large enterprise software companies like Oracle are using automation to uncover actionable insights from huge amounts of data.
I believe that all workers can benefit from augmentation. And if you study history, you will find that augmentation has always been a part of the evolutionary process in business . It's how we as humans have been able to remain competitive with each other and take our economy to greater heights.
For example, Henry Ford was known for inventing mass production , which is a form of augmentation where workers only need to focus on one part of the manufacturing process. That freed up the workforce to learn new skills and take on greater roles, such as managers and executives.
Now we face an even bigger shift in the workforce , where AI and automation will allow us workers to focus on more complex tasks that require creativity and drive. And when this happens, we all win: companies become more efficient and productive, and workers are able to use their skills and creativity in new and innovative ways.
So what does the future hold for augmentation?
As I mentioned earlier, augmentation has always been a part of the evolutionary process in business . And I believe that it will be key to the success of both companies and workers in the years to come.
But we need to be careful not to overuse these technologies. Automation and AI should be used to complement, not replace, human workers . And we should always keep in mind the potential risks associated with these technologies, such as job loss and increased inequality.
In conclusion, I believe that AI and automation will play a critical role in the future of the workforce. And while there are risks associated with these technologies, I believe that they can be embraced by both companies and workers if used correctly. So let's all work together to make sure that these technologies help us achieve our goals and objectives, rather than hinder us.