Dave Caskie - Embracing more human tech for a brighter future

This new era of technology holds huge potential for businesses if deployed responsibly
Dave Caskie, Joint Managing Director, Accenture ScotlandDave Caskie, Joint Managing Director, Accenture Scotland
Dave Caskie, Joint Managing Director, Accenture Scotland

Humans invent technology to overcome our own limitations. But while extending our physical and cognitive abilities via tools is a distinctly human trait, the tools we’ve built in the past have often been distinctly unhuman in the ways they look, act and feel. For the first time in history, we are reversing that course with more human-like technology – in the form of generative AI.

Technology that is human by design is more intuitive, demonstrates more intelligence, is easier to integrate across every aspect of our lives, and requires less adaptation for the user. Generative AI ticks these boxes as we can instruct it using language, rather than code, which comes to us naturally. This unique departure from previous technologies is what grants generative AI the potential to be the biggest revolution I’ve seen in my career in technology.

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The positive potential of generative AI - if deployed responsibly - is overwhelming, both for business and wider society. Early adopters and leading businesses have kickstarted a race toward a new era of value and capability underpinned by one common thread – technology that is human by design. For example, some car manufacturers are leveraging generative AI to scour vehicle owners’ manuals to provide more direct answers to car queries - responding with clear instructions, as well as highlighting pages in the manual where a driver can find an answer.

Examples such as this are exactly why, according to our own research 89% of UK executives agree that making technology more human will massively expand the opportunities in their industry. Additionally, 82% of UK businesses see generative AI as more of an opportunity than a threat - more beneficial to revenue growth than cost reduction. The good news is that, with its thriving tech ecosystem and rich talent pool, Scotland’s economy is primed to benefit from the AI revolution.

Beyond potential productivity gains, the more human interactions we are having with generative AI means it also has a lower barrier to entry than technologies that have come before it. While that holds some astounding potential for equitable technology access, it will also require a huge amount of education to ensure well-being, privacy, and security are prioritised. We now need to ensure we bring people, our greatest resource, with us on the generative AI journey with widespread education. Businesses need to focus on nurturing trust and curiosity about generative AI to ensure the technology grows to its full potential and enables people from all areas of society and business to unlock added productivity and creativity. In return, companies leading the shift to more human technologies will ride a wave of innovation opportunities.

This new era of technology – that is human by design – holds huge potential for businesses, but only if leaders embrace it responsibly and bring everyone on the journey. It’s time for the Scottish business community to turn optimism into action and seize this moment for reinvention to harness the increasingly powerful array of technologies now at their fingertips.

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