Human + Machine: What Does the Future Look Like?

Written by 
Kara Burton
July 17, 2023
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Human and Machine. How does that phrase make you feel? If it doesn’t evoke a particularly confident or pleasant feeling within you, you’re certainly not alone – with the introduction of any novel piece of technology, there is sure to be feelings of unease.

I am of course, referring to the current discourse surrounding the introduction of Generative AI into many facets of our life. It would be facile to ignore the fact, that whilst this piece of incredible technology is igniting a myriad of solutions across multiple industries, it can feel as though it’s burst into our lives, with little to no warning – and people are a bit on the fence about it all.

It’s an interesting notion that one day, our lives will be heavily intertwined with this piece of technology – and one that given the news every day, is hard not to deliberate on. But isn’t that always the way? I was driving with my father in the car a few days ago, and he stated that if someone from the 60s were miraculously transported into 2023, they would think everyone was mad. Mad because they are glued to tiny screens or walking down the street with small, white objects in their ears, speaking to the air in front of them. Technological advancements have a way of sneaking up on us, and before we know it, the whole world has changed.  

When it comes to Generative AI, those who are on board with this piece of tech, like us, are extremely excited to not only observe, but be a part of delivering the life-changing solutions that it makes possible. No one really knows for sure what the future looks like, but we can make some pretty educated guesses.  

How Do We Work Together?
In many ways, people and machines have been working together harmoniously for quite some time. Think of all the tasks on a day-to-day basis, that modern day pieces of tech, such as a smart phone or a computer, assist you in doing. Now imagine attempting to do those same tasks without digital assistance - the world has simply graduated so far, that doing so would be extremely difficult. We have become exceptionally efficient, rarely even stopping to acknowledge it.

On a less personal level, it’s no secret that machines are transforming the way that certain industries operate. Machines have the ability to perform repetitive and mundane tasks, generally freeing up human teams to focus on more complex and creative endeavours – which is something we can observe in real time in industries such as customer service and any kind of assembly line work.

If you have ever had a human-esque conversation with a chatbot, chances are, you’ve already interacted with Generative AI. Though it doesn’t really feel like it, this kind of technology has been ticking away in different forms for quite some time and is currently enhancing and solidifying its position within the Customer Service Industry in the form of Conversational AI.

So, What Does the Future Look Like?
Though Generative AI is currently making waves in the headlines, customer service and retail industries, across the span of our lives, it’s very safe to say it will make its way into a whole lot more. Given this, it’s important to remember that though AI’s presence in our life is bound to grow, its primary purpose is to act only as a helping hand: an efficient assistant.  

Here are a few of the places we may see Generative AI making an impact in the near future:

  • Healthcare: Conversational AI can assist in healthcare by providing triage services, answering common patient questions, and scheduling appointments. It will also help monitor patients remotely, provide medication reminders, and offer general health advice, thereby improving access to healthcare and reducing the burden on healthcare providers.

  • Education: Think intelligent tutoring systems, personalised learning experiences and adaptive feedback. AI-powered tutors will adapt to individual student needs, offering tailored feedback, explanations, and support. Virtual assistants will facilitate interactive and immersive learning, enabling students to engage with educational content in new and dynamic ways. AI will also assist in automating administrative tasks, grading, and assessments.

  • Finance: The automation of financial tasks, such as basic customer support, account management, and financial planning advice. It can also assist in fraud detection and prevention, provide real-time market insights, and help customers manage their finances more effectively.

  • Human Resources: AI can assist in recruitment processes by screening resumes, conducting initial interviews, and assessing candidates. It can also help in onboarding new employees, provide HR-related information, and offer training and development resources.

  • Data Analysis and Decision-making: Conversational AI will simplify data analysis and decision-making processes across industries. Advanced AI systems will process large volumes of data, identify patterns and trends, and generate insights in real-time. Natural language interfaces will enable stakeholders to interact with complex data analysis tools effortlessly, empowering them to make informed decisions and develop data-driven strategies.

It goes without saying, that this kind of tech will certainly change our lives. It will be exciting to see where it takes us, as well as all the new ways of working it will inspire for society at large. It's important to note that the specific impact of Conversational AI will depend on advancements in technology, regulatory frameworks, and societal attitudes. Nonetheless, it is expected to be a transformative force in shaping industries and improving people-machine interactions in the coming decades.

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