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Why you need to embrace robots as colleagues
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Why you need to embrace robots as colleagues

Henrik Landgren, analytics partner at EQT Ventures, discusses how data is power when it comes to making decisions.

As the Industrial Revolution unfolded two centuries ago, economists and intellectuals were united in their concern that “The Machinery Question” was going to ruin the lives of working people.

Broadly speaking, however, the lives of contemporary citizens are better than those of their predecessors; for example, advances in robotics enables those with certain physical disabilities to have a much better quality of life.

Beforehand, the fear was that the introduction of machinery would make humans redundant, decimate livelihoods, and fracture society to an irreparable degree.

Thanks to advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, the same debate is currently unfolding once again. Now propelled into 2018, it’s clear that the lasting effects of the Industrial Revolution’s machinery has been to create more jobs than were depleted – and so we can certainly hope the same is true for AI. In fact, as AI pervades the workplace, people are not only learning to live with their new robot counterparts but even embracing them as colleagues – ultimately, for the benefit of humans.

For entrepreneurs looking to optimise their operations, the most recent manifestation of office automation – whereby AI-powered software robots carry out tasks that a human employee could have previously completed on their PC – is primed for anthropomorphisation. These particular robots work all hours of the day, monitoring thousands of data signals every second, and almost never make mistakes. It comes as no surprise, then, that – by 2035 – Accenture estimates AI could contribute a gargantuan £654bn to the UK economy.

Henrik Landgren, analytics partner at EQT Ventures, discusses how data is power when it comes to making decisions.

As the Industrial Revolution unfolded two centuries ago, economists and intellectuals were united in their concern that “The Machinery Question” was going to ruin the lives of working people.

Broadly speaking, however, the lives of contemporary citizens are better than those of their predecessors; for example, advances in robotics enables those with certain physical disabilities to have a much better quality of life.

Beforehand, the fear was that the introduction of machinery would make humans redundant, decimate livelihoods, and fracture society to an irreparable degree.

Thanks to advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, the same debate is currently unfolding once again. Now propelled into 2018, it’s clear that the lasting effects of the Industrial Revolution’s machinery has been to create more jobs than were depleted – and so we can certainly hope the same is true for AI. In fact, as AI pervades the workplace, people are not only learning to live with their new robot counterparts but even embracing them as colleagues – ultimately, for the benefit of humans.

For entrepreneurs looking to optimise their operations, the most recent manifestation of office automation – whereby AI-powered software robots carry out tasks that a human employee could have previously completed on their PC – is primed for anthropomorphisation. These particular robots work all hours of the day, monitoring thousands of data signals every second, and almost never make mistakes. It comes as no surprise, then, that – by 2035 – Accenture estimates AI could contribute a gargantuan £654bn to the UK economy.

Next, entrepreneurs would also do well to automate the prioritisation of tasks. This is because machines – powered by all this data, deployed through algorithms – are far more knowledgeable about how, for example, a team of investment professionals in the startup space should spend their time, who should reach out to whom, and at what time.

At the same time, startups themselves need to use data in order to adequately manage time in such way that enables better decision-making.

Ultimately, machines should be seen as legitimate contemporary colleagues because, when humans outsource most of the analysis and management parts of a job, they can focus on the more fun and personally worthwhile aspects of professional life.

For my team, the evidence of this human-machine partnership working to fruition is when we reach out to an entrepreneur for the first time and they tell us that they were just about to start seeking a new round of investment – far too uncanny to be merely a coincidence.

As such, entrepreneurs across all sectors would do well to embrace the benefits of human-robot interaction in order to future-proof themselves for the decades ahead; indeed, the economic success of mankind depends on it

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