Author(s): Preeti Thukaram
There was so much talk about work-life balance that the less said the better. How then can we bring meaning to our lives? Delegation and outsourcing only lead to more work and people even died from overwork. There is a Japanese word coined for this, “karoshi”, which simply means “death by overwork”. The stage is set for automation. Just as the stage was set for computers, the internet and dotcoms, the time is now ripe for automation. Everyone will need a robot in their public & private lives to do the work for them. Someone at your beck and call and to top it all off, this assistant of yours will not get sick or take a day off. The robot does not get old or tired or complain. That’s not a dream,
If everything around you is normal, you are not moving fast enough.
Walk towards a better future where BoTs are more than your assistants, they could be your clones.
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time now – Chinese Proverb.
The earlier the better. There is a common (mis)understanding that automation is for sophisticated processes. It is for intelligent IDEAS not intelligent people. Every human being is intelligent. That is the reason we want to automate every human activity. In the workplace, the multitude of tasks we perform require human “intelligence”. Robots can easily do the simple tasks and to some extent artificial intelligence can replace human intelligence. When creating a process, automation should be the ultimate goal. Every repetitive task needs to be automated. Tasks with little intelligence need to be automated. Companies, people in the C-suite, and senior management often view automation as an add-on. Unfortunately, automation is the order of the day. Every task, be it reading, writing, speaking, typing, needs to be automated. People can have their hands, eyes and ears free. They can utilize this time to make better judgement and more human connections.
Mature processes that require human judgment can also be automated with human-robot interaction. These are commonly known as ‘Human-in-the-Loop’ processes. Some examples include: Physicians confirming the Robot’s diagnosis for the patient. Robots are correct 70% of the time, but human validation is required to identify the more “human” symptoms. Robots can cover 24/7 support 365 days a year. No Rota’s required. No need to hire contractors or rob them of their work-life balance. Robots are environmentally friendly. They can finally make all processes paperless. They can work from anywhere in the world at any time. Transportation is eliminated, pollution is avoided, carbon footprint is reduced.
‘Automation’ simply means that a machine does what a human or animal could do. Machines can do this to some extent, but they need humans to guide them. There are now automated machines and automated cars that have given the term a broader meaning. Robots can mimic humans. They are faster, more reliable and do not get tired or make mistakes. They are quick to learn and learn on the job. We can use these traits to automate each and every task we know. Some require a little guidance, but nearly 60% can be automated without much effort.
In many work environments, people perform tasks that are on the periphery of their primary responsibilities. In many cases, an employee spends 30-40% of their time creating reports, making inputs, collecting data, compiling data, or even just classifying emails! This is true for a level 1 engineer or the CEO of a company.
Add to that the fact that these “non-intelligent” tasks are repetitive on a daily basis. Automating such tasks frees up the employee and gives him time to focus on and add value to their main responsibility. A developer must have free time to ‘think’ and develop better solutions. Their timesheets and expenses can be automated. A receptionist can communicate with the patient while the robot fills the form. A patient can thank the doctor while the robot pays his bills. The doctor can comfort the patient while the bot files their report in the hospital database.
Bridge the gap between man and machine. Use your intelligence to live a more meaningful life. Free yourself from drudgery.
Say goodbye to the Monday morning blues. Feel excited to start a day, every day !