When the use of artificial intelligence was first introduced, there were many science fiction movies made about the effect it would have on mankind. Computers and robots were often portrayed as sentient beings whose ultimate desire was to take over and cause harm. These movies were a visual display of human fears at the time; the fear of something new and unknown.
Humans are gradually becoming more comfortable with artificial intelligence, mainly because they have slowly become accustomed to the benefits it brings. Nevertheless, there is still one overriding concern that bothers many people: the possibility that a life based upon artificial intelligence will be a life without jobs. This is the mixed dilemma of automation that has been partially realized.
This fear has colored many people’s view of robotics and automation in a negative way, slowing down the progress that could otherwise be achieved. Older attitudes slow down progress in business as well.
The Modern Rush Towards Robotic Intelligence
The drive to compete is motivating larger companies to gallop towards greater use of artificial intelligence. Businesses that are looking for a competitive edge in the marketplace are incorporating more computers, robots, drones, mobile technology, and other types of artificial intelligence to take over ordinary functions previously done by humans.
In a compelling article written by Eleanor Burns titled, “What About The Human Casualties Of AI And Automation?” the author explores the effect of these changes on workers and their jobs. As Mrs. Burns points out, it’s not surprising that businesses would want to make such changes. Robots don’t carry many of the expensive drawbacks that human workers bring. They don’t require health insurance, they never complain about hourly pay, and they never get temperamental or tired. Robots are soulless, but businesses like them that way.
Uber as a Test Case
The well-known company Uber is an example of a business that is beginning to incorporate artificial intelligence into its corporate plan. Uber has introduced driverless technology to its vehicles in Pittsburgh. The case of Uber is particularly significant, because it has advertised itself as the company which hires ordinary people to drive other ordinary people to their destination. If ever there was a test case for the unemployment of the average person caused by the introduction of technology, this may be the one.
Mrs. Burns theorizes that this change may result in over one million people at Uber losing their driving jobs. If other driver-based jobs follow suit, the number of unemployed could be much larger. Does this present a dark outlook for the America of tomorrow? That depends on the way we respond to such changes.
Adjusting to a Different Lifestyle
A look back in history may provide some needed insight. During the Industrial Revolution, several new inventions were created that gradually became a part of modern life. These inventions have made daily life easier and less time-consuming. Yet every one of them had the effect of putting someone out of business.
The truth is that when new innovations are created, older ones become obsolete. Inevitably, the job market is affected, but only temporarily, until people with jobs that have become obsolete transition into newer kinds of professions that fit better with the change in lifestyle.
Inventions, as diverse as they are, always have one important thing in common: they always seek to benefit our way of life. Nevertheless, change is difficult for most people.
The Move Towards Automation in Accounts Payable
Accounts payable automation has encountered many of the same struggles found in other developing technologies, with much of the same type of resistance. This need not be the case.
Similar to other modern technologies, AP automation is proving to be a valuable improvement over its human counterpart. It offers virtually error-free technology and rapid purchase-order-to-invoice processing.
Electronic invoicing is a technology that is here to stay. Businesses that are choosing to incorporate e-invoicing into their daily accounts payable functions are finding that tools such as data analytics and dynamic discounting are actually a means for saving money, and the data generated can be used to increase business revenue.
Adopting A Healthy Attitude
Mrs. Burns rightly argues that the way to adjust to the introduction of robotics in daily life is to welcome it instead of seeing it as a threat. Innovations spur on other innovations that are helpful to modern life. Accounts payable automation is just one example of this.
Robots, as highly efficient as they are, will always fall behind humans in the areas of creativity and emotion. Consequently, artificial intelligence and automation should be seen in the light of their usefulness to modern man. They will never truly replace us.
Eleanor Burns: “What About The Human Casualties Of AI And Automation?”: http://www.cbronline.com: August 19, 2016