Trends Briefing: AI and Automation

Should we be Worried?

November 24th 0900-1000

Register here

Artificial Intelligence is one of the big, looming technological shifts that helps make people wary about the future. As it develops, we worry it might take our jobs, dilute our creative industries and undermine trust.

But should we be worried? Although new technology tends to get a bad press, the change it creates drives positive interventions too. The adoption of mobile phones was criticised for introducing private conversations and ringtones into public spaces but also offered a vital utility – it allowed us to be contacted wherever we were. The introduction of ATMs in the 1970s led to fears that bank tellers would be out of work. But the opposite is true: the number of bank tellers in the US nearly doubled between 1970 and 2010.

Currently, we’re most likely to experience relatively weak forms of AI, such as chatbots. But as it develops in sophistication AI will increasingly replace cognitive tasks such as data entry or any other kind of repeatable process. It will also be used to drive efficiencies and model outcomes – for example, organisations will use it to identify which patterns of behaviour or intervention produce the best results.

As we see more examples of AI in everyday life – from the viral image creator DALL·E to the deepfakes used to spread disinformation about the war in Ukraine – it becomes more urgent for brands and organisations to understand the opportunities and challenges that come with this unstoppable new technology.

Join us at our next Trends Briefing on November 24th where we’ll outline the trajectory of change, consider the implications for organisations, citizens and governments, and explore what comes next.