C. P. Gurnani is MD and CEO, Tech Mahindra.
With new technologies being discovered every other day, the world is transforming at an unprecedented rate, making humans more intelligent than they have ever been. I believe that the future will be all about the intermingling of superior human and machine capabilities to create prototypes this planet has ever seen.
As we revolutionise our lives by bridging the gap between known and unknown human capabilities, artificial intelligence (AI) will penetrate across industries to take over tasks from humans. While it may sound threatening, the advancements we will witness over the next few years across industries will lead to a better connected and seamless world. It will take over a substantial amount of load from the mankind, thus enabling them to pursue higher cognitive skills.
While there is no denial that AI will cause disruption across all industries, the fear of human beings losing autonomy is overblown. Industry experts believe that we are still a long way from building machines that are smarter than humans. The key consideration for today’s business leaders is to figure out areas where AI-based technologies can be utilised to improve efficiency and productivity, so that the workforce can accomplish other diverse business objectives that will help the organisation grow further. They need to objectively evaluate the AI system to identify what benefits it brings to the operations and business.
The combination of superhuman intelligence and skilled workforce can prove to be one of the most competitive bets for businesses in the future, only if they develop and follow the right strategy to apply it in real life. In order to navigate in this age of digital transformation, we need to be continuously thinking and adapting innovative ways in which AI can positively impact our lives.
The more I interact with the world around, the more convinced and confident I get about the fact that the digital revolution will make the business world more competitive and will open up more opportunities for millennials. Business leaders need to brace for ‘Reverse mentoring’ while they re-evaluate their business strategies to become more agile and innovative.
The key to successful digital transformation is in preparation and therefore we need to invest heavily in reskilling our employees in next generation technologies like blockchain, cybersecurity, AI and machine learning, robotics and automation. In addition to re-evaluating human capital, businesses need to prepare for an AI-enhanced world by thinking smaller. In addition to necessary collaborations with the industry, academia and start-ups to expand their businesses, they need to figure out ways to compete through innovation rather than scale.
The drastic pace of technology will not slow down and now is the time for business leaders to understand the opportunities that AI-based technologies can have on their future. We need to 'democratise' the power of AI, so that it contributes to building a positive shared future for all. However, the future will belong to those who will have ‘an eye for AI’.
The author is MD and CEO of Tech Mahindra.