Hyper Trend

Artificial intelligence

Ignore AI and you are risking being left behind in a race where the gap between the winners and losers will quickly grow very wide.

Ted Roth 11.08.2018

A recent report from the global consulting firm McKinsey & Co. left little doubt that the future of business, including that of supply chain management, is very much aligned with the advancement of artificial intelligence.

As McKinsey points out, AI, as ithas come to be called, will help grow the world’s economies by growing productivity at companies, making huge advances in health care, and taking over tasks now done by humans.

What that means is that companies will be able to drive down costs and improve profit margins, but it will come with considerable change to the workplace.

“Machines will be able to carry out more of the tasks done by humans, complement the work that humans do, and even perform some tasks that go beyond what humans can do,” McKinsey said it found in its research. “As a result, some occupations will decline, others will grow, and many more will change.”

“While we believe there will be enough work to go around (barring extreme scenarios), society will need to grapple with significant workforce transitions and dislocation. Workers will need to acquire new skills and adapt to the increasingly capable machines alongside them in the workplace. They may have to move from declining occupations to growing and, in some cases, new occupations.”

To me though it is just as important to look at where we are right now with AI. Much is said about how it will be used and what it will do and what achievements are potentially out there. But it is also true that more and more companies are adapting AI currently and that means we're advancing the use of it today.

Below you will find a gallery that outlines the four most popular ways AI is being used by businesses and they are in ways that matter to us.

There are others too that are interesting to note:

  • Smart language processing: That means language corrections and translations that could make us all understand each other better.
  • Data quality improvements: Using AI to better understand our data and go deeper with its use. Data collection and data processing our two major tasks and AI could not only make these more efficient it could also make them more reliable and more secure.

One important thing to mention, beware of slow adoption up and down the chain.

The major players right now are all over AI. (Amazon is rumored to employ 1,000 people just to advance its use of AI.) But many companies are reluctant to take the plunge. They may think the technology will be too costly, or implementation too difficult, or the advantages too limited.

Ignore this hyper trend and you are risking being left behind in a race where the gap between the winners and losers will quickly grow very wide.

About the author
Ted Roth
Ted Roth is General Manager of AEB Sweden and joined the company in 2014. He shares his ideas for supply chain optimization from more than a decade of experience working on multinational IT projects for global trade, customs, and logistics.

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