Do Not Fear Technology and Artificial Intelligence

Automation can be scary but in business it is totally necessary.  As we become more and more knowledgeable we need to learn to do things better and faster – requiring more and more automation.  Similarly artificial intelligence is becoming more necessary.

I started working with technology about 35 years ago – that seems like a long time but I remember it like it was yesterday.  I remember working in hotels and having to perform the nightly backup.  There was an entire room dedicated to the mainframe computers – literally wall to wall banks of computer equipment from wall to wall and floor to ceiling.  The backups were performed on these huge record sized floppy disks.  It would take all night – a full 8 hours to perform the backup for one day.  I couldn’t just put one disk in and wait for the backup to complete.  I would have to trade out disks every 5 to 6 minutes for a full 8 hours while also trying to complete all my auditing tasks, still continue to register guests (manually during a backup), take phone calls, manage room service and shut down the bar.  Fun times…

Then I switched jobs and went to work for a major insurance company and we used an archaic Lotus program which everyone called WYSIWYG.  Windows did not exist yet – I seriously don’t know how we managed to get anything done.  The program was not robust at all and we could not be in our insurance program at the same time as Lotus.  A couple years later windows came along – between windows and the World Wide Web – it was life changing.  We did not reduce staff – in fact we increased staff.  We could do more, faster, better and more accurately.  Data was literally now at our fingertips in a matter of seconds or minutes.

Now I work in education as a business administrator in charge of finance, human resources, payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable and more.  Without technological advancements life would be so hard.  These advancements have not decreased the human involvement in the process.  If anything it has increased because the better and faster we become the more and more people want and need.  The government (public education) is always requiring more.  Andrew Charlton talks about automation not leading to unemployment.  I believe it and live it every day.  We are always trying to collaborate with other people, groups, organizations to get the best, most, fastest and most accurate and I have not witnessed any layoffs in my career as a result.  In fact, quite the contrary, with some of the revolutionary changes I have experienced mass hiring!

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