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Topaz Akins: Get Smart! Artificial Intelligence is The Future of the Workplace

Topaz Akins

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Can you cast your mind back to when ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) were newly introduced into the Nigerian banking sphere? Certainly, not everyone was prepared to embrace the change wholeheartedly. While some conservatives were being cautious with the novelty, some others wanted nothing to do with it.

Today, we have ATMs dotting our city streets and malls, with a vast majority of us daily enjoying the service experience these amazing machines have to offer.

As the scope of A. I (Artificial Intelligence) keeps expanding by the day, man-made systems and devices become increasingly capable of being able to successfully mimic quite complex cognitive functions associated with humans such as learning and problem solving.

Artificial intelligence, as opposed to natural intelligence, is the intelligence associated with and demonstrated by machines and other intelligent systems which are capable of interacting with their environment by perceiving and then taking choice actions that maximize the probability of achieving set targets. Of the seven characteristics of living things, humans have gifted these systems with the capability for sensitivity and sometimes movement, as the case may be.

Recently, we’ve had unmanned shuttles being sent to space, drones being deployed for specific missions, driverless trains shuttling the subways in some countries. Soon, we’ll have driverless cars joining the mix.

Already we have automated production lines with robots carrying out major tasks, robots successfully serving meals in restaurants and others deployed as receptionists in hotel lobbies. We also have computer programs developed towards insurance, legal cases and medical diagnosis. Algorithms, the key ingredient of computer programs, are now used in the design of new drugs. They can also decipher a person’s online habits- this has recently been incorporated into online marketing & advertising by e-commerce firms.

A.I has a myriad of advantages over natural intelligence. A.I systems operate at incredible speeds and are able to perform tasks at a minute fraction of time compared to humans. A.I systems are also capable of 24/7 operations, as they have no need for food, rest and holiday. They are also not prone to distractions, mood swings or emotions like humans. With A.I, accuracy levels are close to perfection, and the chances of bias are almost eliminated –  as they can be made to have access to more information. They are able to make more informed and reliable decisions.

Whilst the reality of the 21st century is the continuous disruption of the workplace by machines and associated technology as a result of A.I, (it is agreed that these devices are better than humans in solving logical and or analytical problems), numerous opportunities will abound, In the same vein,  certain tasks hitherto done by humans will be delegated to these systems, as it makes economic sense to do so.

It means humans can now focus on creative thinking and other higher realms of work (man is a spirit being), together with key elements of work which matter most; leaving the physically tasking, monotonous, repetitive and perhaps boring aspects of the work to these devices.

To prepare for the inevitable influence these devices will have on our workspace, we have to acquire, nurture and develop certain skill sets to remain relevant in the workplace. Hone the skill sets that emphasize our uniqueness and the edge humans have over these devices. Inter-personal skills, team-working skills, and problem-solving skills (idea bank & creativity) are some of the skill sets that will be in demand. After all, we will still be needing people to do inter-personal tasks.

So, why not get smart? A.I is here with us.

Photo Credit: © Sidelnikov | Dreamstime.com

Born in Lagos, Nigeria; Topaz Akins is an avid reader intrigued by topics on Leadership, Learning, Self-Help & Development. He appreciates excellence in every form & work of life. He has the best partner in amazing Kiki, who together with adorable Zina and bubbly Naeto, are the core of his support system.

18 Comments

  1. ardnas

    March 7, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    Thank you. great write up.

    • Topaz Akins

      Topaz Akins

      March 8, 2018 at 11:11 am

      Thank you Ardnas. I’m glad you find the article informative. I do appreciate your comment.

  2. Samuel Nwaezeigwe

    March 8, 2018 at 11:34 pm

    Amazing, I actually thought we are centuries away from achieving that, but in the light of this happenings we are probably just few years. I believe humans will cave their niche just like we did during the industrial revolution and information age.
    Thanks for bringing our attention to this.
    God bless you.

    • Topaz Akins

      Topaz Akins

      March 9, 2018 at 8:25 pm

      Yes Samuel, I too believe we humans will step up to the challenge just like we did in the earlier ages. Thank you for your review. I appreciate.

  3. fella Ejike

    March 9, 2018 at 5:55 am

    Hey, this is one of the most informative articles I had read in recent times. Sure AI is the future and will soon take over our work place.Thanks for opening my eye to something I thought its still far but very very close. God bless you Daddy zina

    • Topaz Akins

      Topaz Akins

      March 9, 2018 at 8:22 pm

      Fella Ejike. I’m glad you find the article informative and interesting. I appreciate your positive review. Many thanks.

  4. Chinasa UKpaka

    March 9, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    I love it

    • Topaz Akins

      Topaz Akins

      March 15, 2018 at 10:48 am

      Many thanks Chinasa.
      I’m really glad you do.

  5. M. Robinson

    March 9, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    Probably the most uninformed, naïve article I’ve read on ICT. In pushing for the ‘bait-Click’ “Artificial Intelligence”, Topaz has abrogated AI to just autonomous ‘machines’ even trying to make them (at least in the minds of many readers) synonymous to ATMs?? Topaz should stick to what he knows & is qualified for. This article would have been better tracing our evolution here in Nigeria from “Tally number” to ATMs/E-business today then go further & ask the pertinent question – What present young Millennium youths are contributing or going to contribute to the polity in an era of AI.

    • Topaz Akins

      Topaz Akins

      March 13, 2018 at 2:18 pm

      M.Robinson, I do appreciate your time in reading the article. Your comment points that you know quite a lot about A.I. I’d think you are an ICT professional.

      The article is meant to create awareness of A.I in our immediate society and I agree with you that it doesn’t in any way exhaust the capabilities or numerous breakthrough already recorded in the field.

      It would really interest me if you would be pleased to share some of your knowledge on the subject with me. Many thanks for your feedback.

  6. Benemon

    March 11, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    Nice one master

    • Topaz Akins

      Topaz Akins

      March 13, 2018 at 2:18 pm

      Thank you Benemon.

  7. Okoro Odiri Benedict

    March 16, 2018 at 8:14 am

    Great and insightful write up.

    • Topaz Akins

      Topaz Akins

      December 1, 2018 at 9:47 am

      Many thanks my brother. I appreciate.

  8. Richy O

    March 16, 2018 at 1:58 pm

    Excellent job fully supported

    • Topaz Akins

      Topaz Akins

      December 1, 2018 at 9:48 am

      Thanks you Richy

  9. Chike Asimobi

    March 16, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    Great piece here, quite creative and well thought out. We’ll definitely go out of relevance if we underplay the development. I challenge myself today! What about you? This is informative, thanks Topaz Akins..

  10. Frank

    June 20, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    I love this.

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