How many of us today can imagine the world before mechanical automation? Yet, who can clearly visualise the new age of autonomous technology, propelling itself towards us ever faster? Auto-replenishing refrigerators, human-sounding medical diagnosis bots, unmanned drone-taxis, smart factories—and all manner of other advances—will be part of everyday life before we know it. As we consider the potential of using such technology to innovate in new ways, let’s consider how far we’ve come with automation.
Take driverless vehicles—they’re actually not so new. Indeed, aircraft autopilot systems have been in widespread use for decades and free up their pilot supervisors to concentrate on other tasks. Similarly, automated manufacturing lines and mechanical robotics have dramatically improved production quality, and—crucially—sped up product innovation.
Man versus the future
In both these examples of automation, it’s the mix of man and machine that’s key. The machine does the routine, consistent, ever-vigilant tasks, while humans are freed up to take on the creative work or responsibility.
According to PwC*, this will continue to be the case with AI and autonomous technology. For example, most people have heard how AI has beaten a chess grandmaster. But perhaps fewer know that a human working in partnership with an autonomous player—a so-called 'centaur'—can usually beat AI. Again, the mix of man and machine trumps the machine alone.
For people worried about their future that’s good news. Just as with automation, PwC says autonomy will encourage a gradual evolution in the job market that will be net positive. New kinds of jobs will offset the ones that are lost. You’ll still work, but far more efficiently with the help of AI.
Time to get smarter
Similarly, in IT, autonomy will help people work smarter. Oracle’s software is leading the way and already delivers far-reaching benefits that can help you to innovate in completely new ways. This self-driving, self-patching, self-repairing and even self-designing technology means reduced man hours, fewer errors, increased uptime, enhanced performance and constant access to the latest technology updates.
And there’s even more benefits for line-of-business users—self-repairing production lines, finance process automation, intelligent candidate screening in HR, new insights from advanced analytics that can dig deeper into data than ever—the list goes on. Product innovation can look much further ahead, with clearer insights on customer needs, and harnessing the latest technology—all thanks to smarter thinking by man and machine.
Complex IT tasks can be made much easier, faster and more accurate. Consider integrating applications and processes, for example—the latest software can provide machine-learned ‘best next action’ recommendations to eliminate human errors in complex data mapping. Machine learning can also suggest the best user selections for process flows, while AI can drive the generation of integration flows by mining the successful execution of thousands of integrations at runtime. The latest autonomous software can also sense and raise alerts for application integration connectivity issues, and also notify when data storage thresholds are exceeded.
Be first to innovate
So how does all this apply to you? How ready are you to innovate and deliver the next generation of intelligent software? Your business objectives will have a major bearing on what capabilities are most important, and how you use autonomous technology to get closer to your customers to better understand their needs.