New research from Accenture shows that we are in the midst of a significant technological shift. AI and related technologies are evolving into 'Human by Design': they are becoming more human and intuitive to use, ushering in a new era of unprecedented productivity and creativity. The study also argues that these technologies are becoming more powerful, user-friendly and integrated into all facets of our lives. We are moving towards a world where technology is ubiquitous but at the same time becoming more invisible.
Accenture's Technology Vision 2024, titled "Human by Design: How AI Unleashes the Next Level of Human Potential", highlights how technology, particularly generative AI, is becoming increasingly human. As this technology becomes more human-centric, it significantly increases the potential for people to realise their potential and fundamentally change business. Accenture research shows that generative AI could affect 44% of all working hours in various industries, increase productivity in as many as 900 different occupations and generate a global economic value of $6-8 trillion.
"AI, spatial computing and body movement technologies are developing at lightning speed, becoming almost invisible and imitating human skills. This opens up new opportunities to do what was once unthinkable," said Rob Knigge, Country Managing Director of Accenture Netherlands. "These developments are fundamentally changing how we work, live and learn, bringing major innovations to sectors such as retail, entertainment, banking, healthcare and manufacturing. Companies investing in 'human by design' technologies now are setting a new standard for industry leadership."
The study identifies four key trends in the move towards 'human by design' technologies:
AI as an ideal match - We are moving towards a world where data is organised, reasoning and even creative in a human way. Instead of digging through mountains of search results, users get personalised answers such as advice, summaries, essays, images or even art. Search turns into synthesis. Leaders who equip their organisations with AI-based knowledge tools will realise huge performance improvements and competitive advantages.
Meet my agent - This refers to ecosystems in which AI agents act for individuals. These automated agents not only offer assistance and advice, but also take actions for us in both the physical and digital worlds. They increase the collective productivity of employees and create great value for participating companies. Almost all executives (96%) see deploying AI agent ecosystems as a significant opportunity for their organisation in the next three years.
The space needed - Creating value in new immersive environments. We are expanding our physical, two-dimensional world into three-dimensional environments with technologies such as spatial computing, metaverse, digital twins and AR/VR. These new spaces and experiences connect our digital and physical worlds in new ways, driving innovation and improving the way we work, live and learn. A third (33%) of retail consumers are interested in using spatial computing technologies or devices for shopping.
Our bodies electronic - The use of advanced, integrated technologies such as AI-driven wearables, neurotechnology for brain activity measurement and eye and motion tracking. These technologies enhance our understanding of ourselves, our lives and our intentions, and improve how we work and live. 94% of executives believe that human interface technologies give us better insight into behaviour and intentions, transforming human-machine interaction.
"Human-centric technologies, including GenAI, are poised to maximise human potential, with a wide range of business and societal benefits," Knigge adds. He highlights that an overwhelming 93% of executives recognise that in the face of rapid technological advances, it is essential for organisations to innovate with purpose.