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The dawn of artificial intelligence

Rethinking the added value of AI

Possible enterprise applications and development scenarios through to 2040.

Dr. Marcus Schueller

Practice Leader, Procurement and Supply Chain Advisory

KPMG in Germany


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There can be no question that our world is on the verge of a new industrial revolution. As artificial intelligence grows more robust every day, it has become clear that what we know about the businesses and the workforce are beginning to radically change. At KPMG, our professionals are dedicated to helping organizations navigate that uncertain future.

Gartner Says By 2020

*Gartner (2017) Gartner Says By 2020, Artifcial Intelligence Will Create More Jobs Than It Eliminates.

**Mauro, M.; Rowan, C.; Trapp, M. (2016) Off on the wrong foot. In: The RIC Report (12.01.2016). Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

In this substantial study entitled “Hybrid value creation: How humans, robots and AI can work together in the future” KPMG has partnered with TRENDONE to do just that, offering predictions, best practices and advice on the numerous possible scenarios leading up to the year 2040. With a comprehensive introduction to the thoughts and trends behind AI, “Rethinking added value” also identifies the possibilities for the future.

Looking beyond the horizon

How will we interact with AI in 2040? In this study, we have plotted possible future states on two axes: regulated/autonomous and trusted/mistrusted. At a base level, when we look at the possible combinations of these extremes, we end up with four potential hypothetical situations.

The new land of milk and honey

In this scenario, AI has become so engrained in human culture that the average working week has fallen below 20 hours on average. Technology is ever-present, and innovation is often done independently by artificial intelligence itself. On the other end of the scale, humans that are still working are experts in creative thinking, management, development and socialization. Those humans are responsible for determining what tasks are managed by AI.

Thinking without limits

When humans and AI work side-by-side as equals, innovation is limitless. In this scenario, artificial intelligence becomes more human and humanity becomes more artificial, with augmentations to improve intellect and physical abilities. Robots are granted rights similar to humans, and together they build a new and better society.

Red button era

While humans have given AI the ability to innovate on their own, often the humans in charge of regulating that innovation don’t understand or trust the robots to do what is beneficial to everyone, hitting the “emergency stop button”. This in turn leads to AI being treated as a beloved enemy, one humanity relies upon but mistrusts. As a result, there is a constant struggle between digital and analog.

Powerless society

In this case, AI has gone far beyond what humans can fathom, and we have lost control. Humans work at the behest of AI, but resent what they cannot understand. While AI is interested in what is best for both parties, they are most keen on working with human influencers who have the ability to sway the opinions of others.

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