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Artificial intelligence meets business: What does the future hold?


‘Singularity’ is word used to describe something of distinction or wonder. Simple and unassuming? Not if the latest MYOB report in its ‘Future of Business’ series is anything to go by.

The report entitled ‘Surviving the Singularity’ discusses the future of businesses around Australia as technology reaches the point when machines are capable of independent thought. A concept known as the singularity.

Artificial intelligence will transform the world of work and various industry sectors over the next two decades according to the report. Among many predictions, the report suggests that retail stores will sell product experiences rather than physical goods and ‘business deal houses’ will be invented where companies can interact via hologram.

While the changes and developments brought on by technology may be welcomed, a significant number of job losses are expected to hit the market with the service industry predicted to lose telemarketers, auditors, bank tellers, travel agents, retail salespersons and many more.

MYOB Chief Technology Officer, Simon Raik-Allen said “while we are probably not all going to be reporting to a robot, the reality is that a lot of jobs that exist today will be replaced by automation.”

But it’s not all about losses as Mr Raik-Allen said “while technology provides us with high efficiency and accuracy, some skills are fundamentally difficult to automate. We still have an advantage over robots for the tasks that require judgment, creative thinking and human interaction.”

Mr Raik-Allen told Dynamic Business “we have to remember that the ‘human factor’ will make all the difference. While technology provides us with high efficiency and accuracy, some skills are fundamentally difficult to automate.” 

In light of the predictions made by the report on how artificial intelligence will change the future of business, Mr Raik-Allen said that it is important for people starting a business or students thinking about their career to plan now.

“Businesspeople, entrepreneurs and students should start preparing for it now,” he said.