Insurance company announces 34 jobs to be replaced by artificial intelligence
What’s your first reaction when you read that over 30 office jobs at a Japanese insurance company are about to be replaced by artificial intelligence? Are you you nervously wondering if your job will be next? Or are you excitedly thinking about the potential benefits AI could provide to your role or business? Is your immediate response to AI fuelled by fear or excitement?
Worried or excited?
You’re unlikely to be excited by the thought of job displacement or the warnings of caution from the likes of Professor Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk or Nick Bostrom but when it comes to artificial intelligence, is there a middle ground?
The upside to AI
What’s the upside to the developing world of artificial intelligence? There are already plenty of examples of AI being applied to a wide range of everyday decisions and dilemmas:
- IBM have developed skin cancer detecting software, although still in it’s early stages, trials have shown it to more accurately detect skin cancer than eight expert dermatologists (computer accuracy – 76% – expert dermatologists 70%).
- The National Health Service in the UK has embarked upon a six month trial in London, using an AI app as an alternative to it’s current helpline 111. If successful, the app will ease pressure on an overstretched health care service, reducing queues and waiting times in A&E.
- IBM’s Watson AI has already been used in a number of healthcare settings in the US. Watson isn’t make decisions here, it provides professionals with options to choose from along with supporting evidence to assist decision making. At Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York, Watson based software is used in utilisation management decisions in cases of lung cancer. Former business head at IBM, Manoj Saxena, says that 90% of nurses using Watson in the field now follow its guidance.
- Watson is also behind a cooking app which, once you’ve told it the ingredients you’d like to use, is capable of generating an infinite number of recipes, all based on recipe learnings from the gourmet magazine Bon Appetit.
- Set to provide a big data weather forecasting service, 200,000 weather stations will be merged with Watson through the Internet of Things , aiming to save US industry alone more than $5 billion a year.
- Need help with social influencer campaigns for brands? Brands that advertise with Conde Nast publications such as The New Yorker, Vogue and Vanity Fair can use AI software developed by IBM and Influential to sift through social influencers personality traits and demographic to select the best social media celebrity to most successfully front their ad campaigns.
- How about using AI to help protect water in drought-stricken areas? California has experienced drought for almost five years and is now helping communities keep track of their water usage via OmniEarth, an environmental analytics company, using Watson based software. In an interview with Popular Science magazine, OmniEarth co-founder, Jonathan Fentzke explained, “We’ve found it to be very effective in targeting people who may not even know that they’re inefficient.”
Your AI opportunities
Whether you’re totally onboard or yet to be convinced, AI is here to stay and rapidly evolving. What does AI mean for you? What are the options, the opportunities, the possibilities?
Is there an aspect of your job or business that could benefit from AI? Perhaps there are parts of your role or business that require lots of time and energy crunching big data, how could you use AI to free up that time and focus on other areas?
You might have realistically assessed your role and concluded it could well be replaced by AI. Maybe it’s time to focus on the elements of your skill set that require expertise in judgement, emotional agility or engaging and motivating others. What additional skills or expertise do you anticipate your specific area will need with the advent of AI?
Is now your time to branch out and apply your creative entrepreneurial skills to artificial intelligence? where do you anticipate a future gap in the market or an emerging customer need relating to AI? Companies like Modiface have already started to adapt AI technology to a range of beauty products by powering apps that allow consumers to see how cosmetics or treatments might change their appearance.
There are limitless possibilities for the use of AI, why not take control of how they will shape your world?
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