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AI and Automation: Good or bad?

July 31, 2019


As a computer repair technician, we work with a wide variety of software packages on a daily basis, therefore we have witnessed rapid developments in technology. We've pretty much seen everything there is to see when it comes to hardware and software development over the past 10 years.


Firstly, let's focus on the difference between AI and automation, many people often confuse the two. Automation has been around a while, but has only really gained publicity over the years (we don't know why) these are the software packages that automate work, processes, and repetitive tasks that require little thinking. These software packages have been around for the past 10 years, they are created using code in which a programmer creates a set of code that does a repetitive task over and over again to save time. 

These developments are nothing new, they've been around a while and have always existed in the IT industry.There exists a whole range of these software packages, that save time and prevent the need to manually perform repetitive tasks. However, based on our observations, there has been little awareness.


With AI (artificial intelligence)  we've seen huge strides in devices such as Alexa, Google Home, & Cortana, these are prime examples of how AI is having an impact on our economy. These devices  simply didn't exist 8 years ago (2011) their inception is therefore unexpected and somewhat unprecedented, it is the first step in AI (or Smart Home) technology and it came around quickly.


We've also seen a huge rise in self service checkouts,  apps, and all other tools that make it easier and quicker for the consumers to purchase services and products. Self-service has always been around, but the ability to use an APP to make your purchase has only been a recent development. Many stores are experimenting with using barcode scanners in store to automate the process further. There is even an Amazon self-service grocery store that allows you to scan and go, this technology is on the rise.


Ask yourself this, did you ever imagine yourself 9 years ago, walking into shop or supermarket, picking up a product, using a self service machine & scanning a card? The process involves no human interaction whatsoever, and means you are in and out of the store in a matter of minutes. This process alone is a perfect example of how automation has significantly changed consumer behavior and revolutionized the buyer experience.


The APP revolution, combined with Alexa & Google Home, self service, marketing, accounting, and software integrations, are prime examples of how AI and automation have rapidly developed over the years. It is somewhat dangerous how fast these tools are developing in the market. Never before did we think it was possible to control the lights, TV, and other household appliances using our phone, if you had told me this 10 years ago (2009) we'd be telling exchanging Star Wars jokes (like they did in Big Bang Theory in 2008 - 2010.


Overall, we need to be wary of this development, we often hear forecasts that AI and automation will decimate millions of jobs in the next few years, we're already seeing this happening. Unfortunately, there are still elements of society that disregard the severe impact AI and automation will have (is having) on on the world. We can't be complacent about this. 

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