Self-service Robots?! - 2030 Week Day 1 - ITSM
12 Dec 2016
Welcome to the first day of 2030 Week on AXELOS Community! Throughout this week we'll be presenting scenarios of what WE think best practice will look like in 2030. To take part in the challenge and be in with a chance at winning, all you need to do is read the scenario and tell us what you think!
Today we are talking about how automation will shape the future of your role.
"Imagine a world where every request is received by a self-service robot. They can take phone calls, talk over email and IM, chat to customers through a physical interface around the office and make instant assessments on urgency and importance based on a huge amount of historical data and real-time sentiment analyses on the interactions it has with customers.
This level of AI, self-service and automated customer interaction is the future we want to paint for you today. It is a future where ‘robotic’ no longer means one dimensional and rigid, but instead it means a personalised, empathetic and responsive approach to the customer getting what they want through IT and technology."
Do you see a place for this level of autonomous service in the workplace? If so, what do you think the role of the IT professional looks like? More importantly, how will this affect YOUR job? Tell us in the comment below.
We are seeing more of AI solutions in the call center area of on-line retail and it makes since it will expand to other sectors. Auotomation with self-learning is a reality, also. However, in my opinion the "person behind the curtain" will still be needed to maintain the AI solution and provide conflict resolution. The service industry will change to include more technical skills of coding and, hopefully, human interaction as it relates to building customer relationships.
Let’s not get too carried away here. 2030 is only 13 years away. The problems we face in developing AI and automated service provision are not so much technological (although I think there is still a long way to go there), but in implementing and utilising the technology. This will be restricted more by cultural issues.
Let’s look back at the last 17 years. Have we really come that far since Y2K? The technology has evolved certainly, and we are already automating some areas of IT service provision. But have we really changed our cultures that much? We might carry smart phones and snail-mail might have given way to email, which is itself under threat from various other electronic communication techniques, many of which just maximise the speed of communication at the cost of quality of content.
As humans we still make the same mistakes we always have. After nearly 50 years in what we now call IT (it was still “data processing” when I started) I have seen organisations repeat the same mistakes in requirements analysis, design, transition and operation of new systems.
Increased levels of automation should be great for humanity. It should liberate us to do what we are great at, coming up with new solutions, responding to crises, feeling each other’s pain and coming to their aid (yes, you doubters, some actually do that!). It should minimise the tedium of repetition in our lives, which generally results in boredom, inattention, cutting of corners and sometimes catastrophes.
But to get it all in place we are going to have to change our cultures. We are going to have to respect each other, and value our differences. We are going to have to share knowledge rather than hold it to ourselves. We are going to have to welcome our differences rather than ignore other people’s experience, knowledge and values. And we are going to have to ensure that the benefits of automation extend to all people, not just enriching a minority of people, often through exploitation of other people’s ideas and hard work rather than through their own contributions.
The application of increasing levels of automation in the provision of services is a great opportunity for humanity, but this will not be achieved without reducing the inequality, division and even conflict that has increased dramatically in the last 17 years. The world will not be a better place if it continues to use such developments to benefit the few, at the cost of most.
When all is said and done no matter how good the AI it cannot respond emotionally. As long as we require people at the Customer end of the conversation we will require people at the 'Helper' end. Computers work on logic, only people can do 'maybe'.
I think people trying to convince themselves that a human person still will be needed to govern AI's. But with the self learning mechanism this dependency will be very low. This doesnt mean that people will lose their jobs to the computers. It only will create more time space for IT proffesionals to spend their times somewhere much more needed like integration of IoT and other large systems or services in IT.