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AI, human-machine collaboration could boost revenues by 38 pc, up employment by 10 pc: Accenture report

Vallabh Rao
16th Feb 2018
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The report suggests CEOs must pivot their workforces to seize AI-driven growth and help them work with intelligent technologies. 

Global professional services and consulting firm Accenture has come out with a report titled, Reworking the Revolution: Are you ready to compete as intelligent technology meets human ingenuity to create the future workforce?.

The report shows how pioneers are using human-machine collaboration not just to improve efficiencies, but to drive growth through new customer experiences. For example, an online clothing retailer’s AI helps its stylists learn more about customers’ preferences so that they can offer a unique and highly personalised service.

And a sports shoe brand sets a new bar in customisation and speed-to-market by aligning highly-skilled tailors and process engineers with intelligent robots to design and manufacture in local markets. 

Credit: Pixabay

Accenture combined quantitative and qualitative research techniques in order to analyse the attitudes and readiness of workers and business leaders with regards to collaborating with intelligent technologies. The research programme included a survey of 14,078 workers across skill levels and generations and a survey of 1,201 senior executives.

These were carried out between September and November 2017 in 11 countries and (Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Spain, UK and the US) and the following industry sectors: Automotive, Consumer Goods & Services; Health & Life Sciences; Infrastructure & Transportation; Energy; Media & Entertainment; Software & Platforms; Banking (Retail & Investment); Insurance; Retail; Telecommunications; Utilities. 

The research also included economic modelling to determine the correlation between AI investment and financial performance, in-depth interviews with 30 C-suite executives and ethnographic interviews with 30 individuals who have been working with AI. 

The report estimates that if businesses invest in artificial intelligence (AI) and human-machine collaboration at the same rate as top performing companies, they could boost revenues by 38 percent by 2022 and raise employment levels by 10 percent.

Collectively, this would lift profits by $4.8 trillion globally over the same period. For the average S&P 500 company, this equates to$7.5 billion of revenues, and $880 million lift to profitability. 

“To achieve higher rates of growth in the age of AI, companies need to invest more in equipping their people to work with machines in new ways,” said Mark Knickrehm, Group Chief Executive, Accenture Strategy. “Increasingly, businesses will be judged on their commitment to what we call Applied Intelligence - the ability to rapidly implement intelligent technology and human ingenuity across all parts of their core business to secure this growth.” 

Both leaders and workers are optimistic about the potential of AI on business results and on work experiences, according to the study. Seventy-two percent of the 1,200 senior executives surveyed said that intelligent technology will be critical to their organisation’s market differentiation and 61 percent think the share of roles requiring collaboration with AI will rise in the next three years. More than two-thirds (69 percent) of the 14,000 workers surveyed said that it is important to develop skills to work with intelligent machines.

At YourStory’s Future of Work conference on March 17, 2018, in Bengaluru, technologists, entrepreneurs, researchers, hiring managers and corporate leaders will debate the future of work in the age of automation, artificial intelligence and robots. Click here to find out more about the event.

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