Saturday, May 14, 2016

Extreme Automation

We are rapidly moving into an era where the pace of automation is highly accelerated. The physical space is quickly getting hooked on to the cyberspace, contributing to this phenomenon that I am calling as Extreme Automation.

Extreme Automation is emanating from every process being transformed into a highly automated process, enabled by the fact that every thing has the ability to talk to the cyberspace. This allows elimination of any human intervention in entire end to end processes, as data is picked up automatically from objects such as trucks and machines and is fed into the process, which in turn is able to instruct other objects such as packaging machines, 3D printers, driverless trucks etc to complete the process.

Any decision making that is required, such as in driving a vehicle, is being taken over by cognitive technologies.

This complete elimination of human intervention in the process of delivery of products or services, is the manifestation of Extreme Automation.

Extreme Automation is what is driving the 4th Industrial Revolution. It will also drive tectonic shifts in the jobs market, as it would lead to sudden massive job destruction, which will lend very little time to the labour market to retrain in the higher level skills that would be required. Moreover, it is a question mark if in the transformed scenario, if that many high level jobs would be required which would compensate for the job loss. That would in turn lead to a collapse in demand in the economy as people will stop having disposable incomes.

Clearly, Extreme Automation will lead to a painful churn in the economy and the society.

Extreme Automation will be the single most defining moment for this century. It will define the direction in which human society will evolve and how the clash of demographics will be resolved wherein economies such as India and Africa, which were poised to leverage the demographic dividend, will find their demographic profile to be a liability and economies such as China, Japan and Europe, with their declining demographic profile, will find it relatively easier to navigate the challenges arising out of Extreme Automation. 

It will also usher in an era where design and content will be the wealth generators and everything will be digital, everything will be a service. And this change will begin to happen within the next five years with the maturing of the fundamental technologies for Extreme Automation - cognitive, IOT, driverless vehicles and robotic process automation operating in an environment of pervasive compute and pervasive communication infrastructure.

The opportunities from such a transformation will also limited by only the combined imagination of humanity. Imagine agriculture being done by robots, and the harvested produce getting automatically processed, cooked and delivered on your plate by a series of automation, based on your wish of what you want to eat on that day, all powered by fully depreciated solar power will be a bold new era.

Concept firat published at

1 comment:

  1. M2M intelligence imbibing rapid automation capabilities may not overtake human creative cognitive capacity. But it may reduce employment opportunities for people who lack strong analytical background since IT companies would cut their budget on Infra & app development and focus on exponential data and handle their competitors and serve customer more effectively.