The advent of technology and the prompt adoption of technological tools in the 21st century has been explosive. The computer age grants unrestricted access to information and virtually any willing person can reach anyone on the internet space. This has transformed individuals, groups and corporate bodies who now expand their frontiers and horizons in a quest to meet up with the competition. Corporations compete; individuals also compete. However, some compete predominantly on social media, completely oblivious of greater features that can be utilized or learned from the internet. The social media is just a tip of what is encapsulated in the tech-world revolution.
There’s been widespread deployment of advanced technology. There has been the rise of automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI). This has been far-flung and this revolution now pervades the entire system which ultimately will lead to an impending danger for those who do not utilize the virtues from Information Technology (IT). It is however worrisome that some who will be the casualties of an impending corporate purging and retrenchment have been overwhelmed by the revolution or perhaps by vices of Information Technology rather than the opportunities it offers.
I once worked in a manufacturing organization where we had an Internet trading platform, one inventory/tracking software, and another accounting software. Invariably, we had four separate departments entering data into these three platforms. The accounting department alone had about twelve (8) members of staff, 2 Heads and a financial controller. When technology was introduced, all three departments were merged into one. Now the ‘magic’ was just for an IT/Accounting consultant to sync all information entered from factory and branch offices directly to the accounting software, a mobile application was also introduced, thereby by-passing two major software used. Inventory was also incorporated into one software.
Oops! ‘We never saw this coming…’ So many jobs were lost; for the printer who prints operational materials — he was replaced by postings being done directly through the mobile app; a customized enterprise resource planning (ERP) which carries many features and a friendly user interface. Records/document control department was entirely purged and retrenched. Accounting officers and other staff were reduced significantly. Data was captured and synced once to main software thereby by-passing the old order and slower manual processes.
Artificial Intelligence and the Fall of Anthropoid Presence.
John McCarthy was an American computer scientist and one of the founders of Artificial Intelligence. The resultant effect of AI is (what I call) the fall of Anthropoid Presence — which requires the exertion of physical human energy in accomplishing tasks. It entails that tasks must require the presence of humans before they are carried out. With technology, humans now do less and less. According to a research, 61.6% of sampled respondents used the Internet to a large extent and the major reasons for the preference included readily available information, accurate relevant information, and variety of views on the same subject, faster access to information (Cynthia H. Kumah, 2015). Humans now have less reading and study time due to the rise of information and communication technology. It is now easier to launch search engines than to pass through the rigours of manual research and study in libraries. All we should know, or almost are all now on the internet. In many offices, there is a fall in human exerted strength on executing daily tasks. We now have smart homes and ‘smart offices’ with varied automation features to reduce human activity and save costs.
It suffices to note that it is risky for any business or professional to ignore technology. Success in many fields today is predicated on the knowledge and application of various technological tools. Over time, in workplaces and offices, it is discovered that as more organizations automate their systems to ease processes and abate fraud, more personnel do not train and develop themselves to be abreast of recent technological features and how to improve requisite skill-sets to meet up with the automated work processes. Technology is advancing to the point of replacing humans with machines, redefining processes with programmable applications and ultimately replacing human efforts with less, little or no efforts required.
As artificial intelligence revolves, there is the tendency that it will continue at the expense of human intelligence. One may wish to pray for the reversal of this development — at least not to lose the jobs — or rather choose to embrace the wonderful work this technology has for the entire world.
The Rise of Automation — Tapping the Opportunities as Professionals
There has been this pervasive systemic influence and an envisaged impending corporate purging brought about by automation in business places. Those who were retrenched from most workplaces in the early 21st century lost their jobs as a result of improved and automated systems. Artificial intelligence entails the prowess in machines. Machines working and mimicking cognitive functions like humans (Russel and Norvig 2009, p. 2.) This is the advanced stage of the IT when expanded and robust. Machines are taking over and may substitute human energy in workplaces and organizations. The question is, are humans ready to contend with this?
Organizations and businesses are constantly in a bid to reduce overheads. Much of today’s costs can and have been curtailed. Thanks to the introduction of automated systems and computers. The most hit and victims have been humans or professionals in offices.
It has become pertinent in every secular endeavour and business to always ensure to keep up with the trend and find new ways to do things so as to be relevant in this revolutionary world of technology. The Young Professional Forum has introduced the panacea to unemployment, idleness, youth restiveness, and other vices. This is achieved through skills acquisition, empowerment, and training tailored to prepare professionals for success in every field of endeavour.
Professionals have a huge challenge in today’s way of running businesses. More than ever before, there is an increased need to acquire more knowledge, improve requisite skills, multitask and be abreast of current trends in the industry. Improvements in ICT have surpassed unimaginable trends as there are developing functionalities and systems upgrades being introduced and adopted frequently. Every professional need to key in.
Computers and the internet have made the world a global village. Computers and robots are emerging to take over certain responsibilities at less cost and effort. We cannot overemphasize the effects and the opportunities of these improvements. It is our opportunity. It is emerging. It is revolutionary.
Cynthia H. Kumah. McGill University. December 2015. A Comparative Study of the use of the Library and the Internet as Sources of Information by Graduate Students in the University Of Ghana.
Russell, Stuart J.; Norvig, Peter (2009). Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall. ISBN 0–13–604259–7.