“If you can envision it, it’s possible.” From language-processing chat bots to autonomous cars that alleviate motion sickness, the future has infinite possibilities but will ultimately be shaped by the innovations that can best fit the needs of organizations.
Episode 154 of DisrupTV took an exciting look ahead at the future of technology. Our hosts Vala Afshar and R “Ray” Wang interviewed Rori DuBoff, Head of Content Innovation at Accenture Interactive, Tracy Malingo, SVP of Product Strategy at Verint Intelligent Self-Service, and Andrew Nebus, Senior Principal SME: Trusted Advisory at ASRC Federal, and discussed some of these important trends impacting consumers and businesses alike. Here are a few quick takeaways from the episode:
The Next Generation of Computing is Extended Reality
Extended Reality (XR), which encompasses VR, AR, and an expanding set of immersive digital tools, has already made waves in the consumer entertainment market and has massive potential for deployment in enterprises according to a recent report by Accenture: “Waking Up to a New Reality, Building a Responsible Future for Immersive Technologies.” In fact, Rori DuBoff, who worked on this report, emphasized that the XR industry is further along than many realize. On the enterprise side, there is already data to prove its effectiveness in the workplace. Accenture’s report notes a 21% average boost in productivity through the use of XR and immersive training scenarios.
With XR, it’s not all virtual roses and unicorns however. Rori informed our hosts about some of the concerns associated with an XR-driven future, many of which seem to come straight out of an episode of Black Mirror. Since data collected by XR hardware isn’t just personal information – it is high-level biometric data – there are many concerns related to identity fraud. Opportunities for identity theft, social media fraud, and “deepfakes” loom on the horizon.
Resistance to Artificial Intelligence Will Fade with Time
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and chat-bots have been around for a while now; however, there is still resistance to their use in many companies. When advising executives on how to implement these technologies into their organizations, Tracy Malingo says that the main challenge is getting leadership to understand how AI tools can be used to achieve broader organizational goals. Regarding chat-bots specifically, there are concerns with having machines communicate directly with customers, and many executives doubt that they can deliver the same quality of service as a person. Tracey emphasizes that chat-bots can provide exceptional customer service; they just need to be developed to align with the brand pillars.
Furthermore, hesitant executives have directed much of their AI efforts towards reducing costs to prove the value of the technology. While cost cutting has an impact, Tracey states that AI can have enormous additive benefits by emulating the best human performers. The good news is that resistance will not last forever. Tracey predicted a five-year attitudinal shift when “AI natives” enter the workforce. Young people, who have come to expect machines to do things for them, will be able to devise innovative business strategies that integrate the most advanced technologies.
Regulatory Bodies Need to Keep up with Changing Dominant Logic
Although governments oftentimes can’t keep up with trends in the same way as profit-chasing firms, Andrew Nebus sees an important role for regulatory bodies in the changing world. AI tools can be trained to automate any decision; however, humans need to be inserted somewhere into the process to determine which decisions are ethical and what kind of future we want. To be effective, institutions need to stay up-to-date and informed by diverse perspectives. One such upcoming regulatory decision concerns the structure of compiled data. China exhibits its open and more centralized data structure with its social credit system, whereas the West is used to having closed, proprietary data. Which system will prevail? Only the future will tell.
The limiting factor on modern enterprise technology is not what the tech can do but how it’s applied and accepted by users. Despite the risks associated with adopting new technology, in the end, only the organizations that take the leap and stick the landing will see rewards in the long-term.
If you would like to learn more about AI, take Constellation Research's Artificial Intelligence Survey. Completion of this survey will show you where your organization stands within Constellation Research’s capability maturity model for AI technology implementation. In addition, by completing this survey, you will be contributing to a research report on AI adoption by businesses. Check out last year's report here.
DisrupTV is a weekly Web series with hosts R “Ray” Wang and Vala Afshar. The show airs live at 11:00 a.m. PT/ 2:00 p.m. ET every Friday.