Speaking simply with Sandra Sampson
Our world has become more and more connected, driven by an ever-increasing use of technology.
If ever I am in a meeting where technological systems are being discussed I always find myself professing I am not a ‘techie’ I know how my laptop turns on, I know how to use it but don’t ask me how it all works.
This doesn’t worry me, I know my limitations and I am very happy to be guided by someone who does have expertise in this area. But maybe I should be starting to think differently?
As our businesses grow we are very keen to embrace technology to enhance performance and efficiencies, one area where this has been particularly obvious is in our accountancy procedures.
Technology allows us to have an up to the minute view of our financial position, we can react in advance of any situations that are occurring and forecast more easily. It allows us to get closer into risk which always comes with growth but gives us the confidence to make the necessary calls and changes that may be required.
So, as technology advances many fear there will be fewer and fewer jobs for humans and this would seem a likely scenario.
But I don’t think that this is necessarily true. It is difficult to believe this when we see automated industries such as car manufacturing where robots now assemble cars. Our world is now driven by Artificial Intelligence, often unknown to us.
You may be surprised to know that you have been contributing to the development of AI. Every time we fill in boxes identifying traffic signs, bridges, pedestrian crossings etc, all that info will eventually enable unmanned vehicles to frequent our roads.
Yes, there will be certain jobs that disappear or change considerably in the future. These jobs will be process driven tasks that do not require free and innovative thinking. According to a McKinsey & Company article, less than 5 per cent of global occupations can be fully automated but in about 60% of occupations, at least one-third of the constituent activities could be automated, implying the need for substantial workplace transformations and changes for all workers.
They go on to say that by 2030 our spending on technology will increase, 50 per cent of this will be on Information Technology Services and they estimate this will create around 20-50 million new jobs worldwide.
Without a doubt automation and AI will lift productivity and economic growth but millions of people worldwide will need to switch occupations or upgrade skills.
But humans are still so important, the recent situation of working from home and only interacting with colleagues over zoom has made us all appreciate that human interaction so much more.
I recently met some of our team in a socially distanced situation and we were all so pleased and excited to see one another. We bought coffees from the nearest takeaway and just to be able to drink and chat with them was so wonderful.
So, as we embrace AI, 5G, automatic simulation, quantum computing we realise that so much on the future horizon will be very exciting. However, it can also appear very frightening for some.
But in an ever-changing world let us get ahead of the curve. We are doing this locally as Exeter has been recognised as one of the UK’s Tech hubs. Across our region we need to be preparing our young people to embrace this world and enable them to optimise a bright and exciting future.
Looking at our businesses and discovering where technology can enhance and improve but not forgetting to recognise we all need that human touch.
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