In this new Intelligent Era we will see significant enhancement to the assets we built during the Digital Era and the augmentation and replacement of many professional and Knowledge Workers skills, tasks and roles. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is widely heralded and set to change how we execute most business, but it is often only in hindsight we can say when it started. In the meantime, we can confidently say that the ‘Intelligent Era’ is with us today.
Previous technologies augmented and replaced clerical, supervisory and managerial tasks and roles and made workers more productive and long-honed skills redundant. Often those skills did not disappear but demand for them was dramatically reduced. For example, coal mining, filing and gas street lighters, all of which are still required today but far less so than when they provided a service that enabled everyday life. The good news is that new skills are increasingly in demand and new roles are being created in the Intelligent Era, for example, in blockchain, extended reality, digital ethics, robotics, analytics, innumerable techs and of course, Artificial Intelligence (AI).
It is a time that will be characterised by being:
Artificial Intelligence (AI) will move away from being primarily used for customer service chatbots to become increasingly cognitive and human-like, making its own decisions to achieve the goals we set. ChatGPT and many other generative AI systems, have loudly proclaimed the start of the Intelligent Era and recently grabbed our attention.
Here are some amazing exponential forecasts for the Intelligent Era:
Artificial Intelligence - Could contribute up to US$15.7 trillion to the global economy in 2030, more than the current output of China and India combined. More than 100 million people are using ChatGPT in just 3 months of it being launched, making it the fastest growing application in technology history.
Communications – The number of satellites will increase from around 2,500 today to potentially 100,000 within this decade. 40 times connection capability. 6G - Begins to be rolled out by 2028. In lab tests it has been shown to be up to 1,000 times faster than 5G with lower latency.
Computing power - Moves beyond binary to Quantum with speeds of up to 158 million times faster than the best supercomputer today, more practically maybe ‘just’ 1,000 to 5,000 times faster.
Data - IDC forecasts that the Global DataSphere is expected to more than double in size from 2022 to 2026.
Analytics - Moves from Predictive to Prescriptive to Cognitive to Autonomous, enabling forecasting to be more automated and accurate than ever before.
Connected sensors and online devices – Will be increasingly embedded in anything and anybody. As the Internet of Things is augmented with the Internet of Nano Things, the number of connected devices is expected to grow from 14.4 billion today to a trillion by the end of the decade. This enables the quantified era, a time when everything is measurable.
More information will be pumped out by more devices, analysed by smarter tools on lightning-fast quantum computers or actioned where the data is captured, connected via a massive array of satellites and earth stations across rapid 6G networks, using more applied intelligent than ever before.
This time around it is the automation of professional knowledge, skills and tasks. People who have invested enormous effort to gain their qualifications, capabilities, experience, positions and reputations, to generate a good standard of living and lead comfortable lifestyles. This is all changing because of what’s happening in the Intelligent Era. Some roles will be significantly enhanced, and others will be made all-but redundant. The important thing to remember is that new roles are emerging, requiring new skills and capabilities and the role of the human being will remain essential.
This is a distinctly new era, with new pressures on organisations to consider how they adapt and take advantage of this rapidly changing environment. It is a time in which, without fundamentally reimagining your purpose, proposition and processes, it would be easy to become irrelevant.