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Automation or augmentation?

As AI and Machine Learning technologies become more sophisticated, workers across industries at every level are becoming more concerned about automation. A 2017 report from McKinsey and Co estimated as many as 30% of workers could be displaced by automation by 2030. While the fear of automation isn’t new, there is no doubt that emerging technologies are going to have, indeed are already having, a significant impact on the workforce.

What the discussion of automation misses is the significant possibility for these technologies to augment the skills, experience and expertise of professionals – not replace them. Many industries will require human judgment for the foreseeable future, but AI technologies can be deployed to offer professionals an unbiased perspective to improve outcomes and productivity.

AI augmentation has potential productivity gains in industries with historically low productivity improvement – like construction, which has not had any increase in productivity since 1947. Despite massive changes in building materials and methods the industry continues to face productivity-busting time and cost overruns.

Responding to this crisis, Octant AI has been developed to augment the skills of project professionals, providing them with data driven insights to drive better decision making. Using data scraped from existing systems, machine learners like Octant AI can make more accurate forecasts, faster, than those made using traditional methods. Professionals, armed with better knowledge of potential overruns can better identify problem projects and intervene up to 30% sooner. Combining their expertise with the objective insights of Octant AI, project professionals can achieve better results on each and every project.

Technologies like Octant AI are not designed to automate thousands of workers out of existence, indeed mass automation is likely further away than we think. But companies are using technologies like Octant AI to augment their workforces now. Our technology has helped customers achieve a 10% improvement on their budget bottom line, by combining Big Data with the human skills of project professionals in their organisations.

To see this cutting-edge technology in action, try our new tool Octant Alert. Drawing on  as many as 12,000 projects and over 200 million data points, it can provide an assessment of the likelihood of cost overrun in seconds. While this tool demonstrates just a small part of the functionality of  Octant AI’s cutting-edge technology, we see it as the first step towards transforming project delivery. Try Octant Alert and become an augmented professional today.

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