Accenture Innovation Day 2017 – Mar 31, 2017 in Munich

One subject, 16 speakers, 6 workshops, 6 exhibitors, close to 300 attendees from industrial companies made for an energetic day to think about the future of production, the future of work, the future of enterprises, and a bit about the future of mankind as such.

The subject was one of the most discussed “newer” IT subjects, going back about 50 years in history, but is now about to become a vital part of the economy. The whole day focused on artificial intelligence, robotics and analytics.

The speakers from research and manufacturing presented the status quo of their work and gave interesting insights into their views on the subject’s future development.

The key takeaways from the day can be summarized as follows:

  • AI and robotics will dramatically change production and other areas of work, as well as society in general, over the next few years.
  • Shop floor assistance systems like “Paul” by Media-Saturn, which helps customers to find products and shop assistants, are the beginning.
  • Chat bots in call centers and text analysis systems for insurers, helping to make client service more efficient, are about to be state-of-the-art.
  • Intelligent robots as co-workers for hard and repetitive work are the next step.
  • And AI systems as replacement for the middle management are a further step in maybe a decade, leading to the provocative question of whether people would be willing to report to an AI system instead of a human being. Interestingly, the majority of attendees were reluctant to do so.
  • But at least for the time being, the human employee will be at the center of all AI support considerations.
  • Digitalization and IoT will demand more powerful AI components to be effectively used in the future.

In PAC’s view, IT departments should spend some time on AI and its deployment in their company. The specific use cases depend on the sectors, but in general the following aspects are important:

  • AI for analytics and data management
  • AI for speech in call centers / client service
  • AI to assist sales, client service and other contacts, including the recognition of gestures and facial expressions.
  • AI for IT security
  • AI for the IoT
  • Special sector-specific areas:
    • AI for fraud detection for insurance and financial services companies
    • AI for autonomous driving
    • AI for collaborative robotics in production, sales, marketing
    • AI for autonomous robotics in production, nursing, sales, marketing, etc.