For example, at EY, we worked in partnership with RPA vendor Blue Prism to develop software bots to work alongside our people in human resources (HR), travel and accounting. We expect these 700 software bots to save us 2.1 million hours this fiscal year, just one example of how humans and machines are working together.
While understanding what technology can do is a must, so too is understanding human intelligence. Our intelligence combines both cognitive and sensory abilities, something that AI – despite its speed and computational power – still struggles with.
There are attributes that are uniquely human, and roles that depend on these qualities will continue to need people to carry them out. One of these attributes is ingenuity, the ability to use things in new ways. When is the last time a robot surprised you? That's not what they're designed to do. But people surprise us all the time. We invent things, put seemingly incompatible ideas together and create something entirely new.
Empathy is another. Think about the difference a good doctor can make to your health. Or how your favorite teacher made you feel. Or the last time someone in customer service made you smile. People do that. Machines can't.
Then there's judgment. Computers can do what is logical, but sometimes that doesn't deliver the right answer. Should a bereaved person be held to strict payment terms on a loan? Should autistic children who don't like being touched be punished for striking out when they are touched? Humans are able to take into account extenuating circumstances.
Together these skills enable us to be good at creative problem solving and thinking “outside the box”, to be good at teamwork and inspiring people. The value of these skills can only increase as AI matures.