Robots, AI and the new economy: insights from this week’s Creative Innovation 2016 Conference


Disruption, particularly the rise of exponential technologies, is one of the greatest commercial and cultural threats all organisations will face in business over the next 5 years. In fact, it has been estimated that 47% of jobs will be lost due to new technologies.

The Creative Innovation 2016 (Ci2016) Asia Pacific: The Exponential Shift: Making Transformation Happen conference commenced in Melbourne yesterday (7 November), sharing bold ideas, strategies and sustainable growth solutions for transformation across all business sectors.

As part of a deep conversation in the Sofitel’s ballroom, Ci2016 international authorities including disruption, artificial intelligence and robotic experts who shared their perspectives on managing the dramatic changes that will be wrought by technology in coming years.

A world authority on disruption Martin Ford suggests that widespread change will be driven by artificial intelligence and robotics. Ford suggest the threat that technology will pose to employment is not just for unskilled workers “we have a conventional view that automation impacts low wage workers, but it is increasingly coming for skilled workers”. Ford impresses that there may be a difficult transition to a new economy which eventually people will be able to adapt to jobs they seek greater fulfilment from.

Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro a leading robotics expert described how in Japan innovation through robotics is occurring in hospitality, retail and tourism areas through commercial and industrial partnerships. “We can not ignore the impact of robots in the three dimensions of our world,” Professor Hiroshi said. Interaction of robots in service-based industries such as customer and retail opportunities will likely create a significant impact in the next several years. Professor Hiroshi also described how robots are extending to medical fields.

A discussion about unlocking great ideas in the university sector offered an Australian perspective. “Creating cultures that can cross boundaries” is the key to transformation, remarked Professor Tanya Monro, Deputy Vice Chancellor ,Research and Innovation from the University of South Australia. Where new cultures untangle bureaucracy to unlock institutional ideas, this will be an important step forward for the sector, which is on the cusp of “massive disruption”, Professor Monro added.

Human capital will remain the greatest asset of any organisations, both large and small, including the intellectual property that they develop. Embracing cultural change is the key to unlocking the creative and innovative ideas of tomorrow and the key for university, government and the private sector alike. “I believe the greatest untapped source of energy in the world is not the sun, it is what sits inside today’s organisations,” the moderator Scott Anthony suggested.


About the author:

GarethBenSon_01Gareth Benson is a qualified intellectual property lawyer who is passionate about the power of ideas to solve problems in the innovation economy, where intellectual property is the new currency. He has worked as a business affairs specialist for public and private sector organisations and consulted with over 500 business owners, including as co-founder of Strategy Vital.