Category Archives: Intelligent Automation

I was delighted when I heard that Bradford has become a technology university. As the world’s leaders are struggling to manage the impact of technology – is this an opportunity for the University of Bradford School of Management to lead the world in helping business leaders create strategies and manage for the future? Read my ...

For the first time since the Great Library at Alexandria burnt down, all human knowledge is now available in one place, thanks to the internet which gives us endless content, smart search engines and the ability to create queries in the form of questions.  Unlike the great library it is available to anyone with a ...

I am giving a talk at a compliance conference next month and looking at whether our legal system can cope with the speed of technology over-turning the world as we know it. A story this week has beautifully illustrated some of the challenges.  The celebrity couple, Richard and Judy, apparently spotted a drone flying over ...

Have you ever had that moment when suddenly the things that you write, talk and worry about are happening to you? Surely they always happen to other people? I have been writing about artificial intelligence and my worry that business leaders don’t think they need to understand it – it will only affect future generations. ...

I spend a lot of my time talking about the future to groups large and small. One of the common reactions is that “we’ve seen this before – technology just changes jobs – it doesn’t do away with them”. No-one seems to think it will affect their job or even their children’s jobs. It is ...

If your image of robots is that of C3PO and R2D2 bumbling around in Star Wars, think again. An algorithm is now a director sitting on the board of Deep Knowledge Ventures in the Far East, with voting powers equal to the humans. A robot prepared a meal for Michelin-starred restaurateur, Angela Hartnett, requiring it ...

This week the great and the good will gather in Davos to discuss ‘Managing the Fourth Industrial Revolution’ – what it means and how to respond. But I am concerned that the debate will be superficial, futuristic and miss the point. We are in the middle of a crisis – now. And we need to ...

Predictions of the future have to be taken with a large pinch of salt – especially when considering the impact of technology on business over the next 12 months. However, as someone who started her career as a historian, I know that if we do not think hard about the future now, then we will ...

2015 has not been a good year for many businesses from Ashley Madison to VW. In this blog I wanted to explore why that might be and some of the lessons that can be learned. When the great recession started is a matter of debate, according to the US National Bureau of Economic Research it ...

One of my favourite stories about how the world is changing is of the CEO of one of our leading technology companies being shown round a classroom. The great man stopped by the desk of a young girl using an iPad. “Who taught you how to use that” he asked? She looked at him in ...

We are on the cusp of extraordinary times. Businesses are automating functions from online bookings to telling you which lift to get for the quickest rise to your destination. We are all too familiar with computer system failures. The call centre operator saying, “I’m sorry the system is down” or the supermarket checkout that thinks ...

Today I have published a report, March of the Robots … into the boardroom. In it I challenge UK bosses to start understanding and managing technology before our businesses lose profitability, brand names and even their jobs within the next three to five years. Will your job be here in the next five years? Have ...

I talk to a lot of groups, large and small, about the impact of technology on work as we know it. But rarely have I had as great an introduction as last week when I was invited to speak to the in-house legal team at one of our major energy suppliers. I was preceded by ...

In the last episode of the very good BBC Radio 4 series “The New Workplace”  Justin King, late boss of Sainsbury’s claimed that introducing a nationwide minimum wage is “ludicrous” and went on to say: “One of the consequences of productivity is fewer people producing the same output. Companies will invest more in productivity and ...

An article this week by Aaron Krumins in Extreme Tech says that DARPA is teaching an Artificial Intelligence to improvise and play jazz. Now the interesting thing about jazz is that it requires a high level of innovation, something we have always seen as the preserve of humans. So if computers can start to innovate ...

I’m constantly surprised by talking to people who can see how technology is impacting on every area of business but have a complete blind spot about their own area of expertise. Recently I’ve talked to a number of global law firms who exhibit the same blind spot. They give me two reasons: They think that ...

The controversy surrounding the restarting of nuclear reactors in Japan following the Fukushima disaster and the excellent programme by Jim Al-Khalili on Sellafield have sparked some interesting discussions about how robots can solve some of our greatest industrial and business challenges. Despite all the talk about how artificial intelligence will destroy the human race and ...

Leadership skills and management styles have always evolved over the years, but businesses are facing an unprecedented era of change in the way they manage their teams. Intelligent automation in the workplace, or “the age of robots” as many are calling it, presents a difficult question. How do you manage humans and robots as they ...

The route to business success is strewn with the debris of failed corporate giants who failed to plan for the future and prepare for the disruptive new technologies that lay ahead. But how do boards create the strategies they need for an uncertain future? How do they manage the risks before they appear? And, how ...

In my last blog I reviewed some of the writing on intelligent automation. They range from the optimistic to the dystopian but it is clear that everyone sees significant automation as inexorable – it can’t be stopped. And if we haven’t started thinking about its impact on our business or organisation, we may already be ...

Businesses can do great things by seizing on the opportunities presented by intelligent automation, but also have to understand how this new sector is evolving so they can effectively plan for the future. It’s a topic that is becoming increasingly debated at the highest levels of industry and in this blog, I share some of these discussions.

Is intelligent automation the key to our productivity crisis? A lot of people are worrying about the UK’s productivity, not least the Bank of England’s Governor, Mark Carney in his last press briefing. It seems a strange anomaly that when some of the economic statistics for the UK look good versus our EU colleagues, our ...

In my last blog, I looked at which jobs have been automated over the last 50 years and which ones are being automated now through what I call ‘intelligent automation’. I am carrying out research with businesses to understand how they view the impact of automation on jobs and business structures – I plan to ...