Popular culture tends to pit humans against machines. Think of the cyborgs in the “Terminator” films.

But that sort of gloomy, apocalyptic thinking is outdated, and it fosters the wrong-headed notion that machines will one day replace humans when, in fact, the reality has been quite different.

Instead of displacing us, artificial intelligence (AI) is freeing us from tedious, repetitive tasks, and by doing so, it’s helping us to avoid workplace boredom and extend our uniquely human capabilities.

For years, companies have increasingly automated their operations, first with simple tools like macros and “scraping screens,” then by deploying advanced systems, like robotic process automation (RPA) and sophisticated analytic applications.

Today, AI-based applications take on new roles as assistants, advisers, and “actors.”

For example, personal AI assistants, such as Amy (from X.ai), can schedule our calendars. AI advisors, like Einstein (from Salesforce), can answer business questions by running simulations. AI actors in development can evaluate options and make decisions autonomously.

With all these advancements, it’s no wonder why many people are fearing this new age of intelligent machines.

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By: Manish Sharma, Senior Managing Director, Group Operating Officer, Accenture Operations

Content first published on Accenture.com.read more