Artificial Intelligence and the bionic organisation

Artificial Intelligence and the bionic organisation

Artificial intelligence (AI) has existed for over 50 years but you can be forgiven for thinking it’s a new phenomenon. AI can be considered the ability of a machine, or collection of machines, to perceive its environment and perform tasks that normally require human intelligence.

It’s only the relatively recent, rapid advancement of these technologies that has driven substantial changes in relationships with customers, changes of business models, and changes in structures and designs of organisations.

This is what we call the ‘bionic era’ - where machines enhance human endeavours based on their exponential performance.

It’s relevant these applications are only touching the surface of the potential of AI - and there’s a lot to take in. For example, it’s estimated AI can transform the productivity and gross domestic product potential of the global economy (it’s forecast to contribute up to $15.7 trillion USD to the global economy in 2030 (more than the current output of China and India combined).

In our recent APEC 2018 survey, Australian respondents rate themselves as highly competitive when it comes to the development of both digital products and digital customer interactions.

We consider how Australian companies can remain competitive in this area in four different ways that share the acronym ‘AI’:

  1. Assisted Intelligence: when a human is still involved (‘in the loop’) and an AI assists the human to make decisions or take actions in a ‘hard-wired’ system that is not continuously learning from these interactions.
  2. Augmented Intelligence: when a human is still ‘in the loop’ but the AI system is adaptive, and augments the human decision making by continuously learning from their interactions with humans and the environment.
  3. Automated Intelligence: humans are not ‘in the loop’ and the machine has automated manual and cognitive tasks that are routine. This does not involve new or changing ways of doing things but rather automates existing tasks.
  4. Autonomous Intelligence: humans are not ‘in the loop’ and the AI system is adapting to different situations and acting autonomously without human assistance.

Also in our APEC survey, Australian organisations rate themselves as ‘highly competitive over the last two years’ when it comes to building AI into products.

Highly competitive – 22% (APEC 15%)
In line with competitors – 44% (APEC 38%)
Not making use of AI technologies – 18% (APEC 33%)

Yet when asked which areas organisations will prioritise over the next two years to succeed in the digital economy, Australian respondents rated AI second last.

Contact us

Matt Kuperholz

Partner, Chief Data Scientist, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 (3) 8603 1274

Scott Gillespie

National Thought Leadership Leader, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 2 8266 3229

Kieran McCann

National Thought Leadership Manager, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 (2) 8266 0252

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