When I started working, on 16 December 1992 at 8:30 am, I joined a company that was pretty advanced from a technological perspective. But we had no e-mail. We called one another to obtain information. When we had to produce a report, we wrote queries, summarized the figures and then made comments.

Fast forward. 25 years later, I have e-mail in my pocket, I video conference all I want. Reports are produced in a simpler manner, and I focus more on data interpretation.

 

What does this have to do with AI, and before AI, digitalization? It has everything to do with those new trends. The evolution took time to be implemented. It did not happen in a snap of a finger. Why? Because whether we like it or not, companies have some inertia. And this inertia is actually positive. It gives us time to adapt. The second reason we have time to adapt is that the technologies, to some extent, are not mature yet.

Take Image recognition for example. Specialists in the field demonstrated that, by changing some pixels in a digital picture of an orange, programs were not recognizing an orange any more, but a helicopter. It is the same with voice recognition. Some accents are not recognized, making some tasks simply impossible to perform. But make no mistakes, these flaws tend to be compensated for and technologies will be ready at some point.

 

Let’s assume now that we have technologies that can do as well as human. Will that kill all the jobs?  It will not. Take the example of a nurse. Today, more and more technologies can replace what nurse do. Technology can, for example, measure several vital signs in a continuous fashion. This takes away the burden from the nurse to do something that, from an appreciation perspective, brings little value to the patient. It allows the nurse to spend more time on more complex actions and more time empathizing with the patient. At the end of the day, the patient is happy, and the nurse is happy.

 

Do you want another example? Take the retail stores. The added value comes from the advice you can get, not from the fact that someone scans what you bought for you. Why do you think local markets are so successful, be it in Brussels or in Spain? The automation allows a shift of resources from the cashiers to the different shopping areas. And the beauty of this is that training in these new functions is not that hard.

 

We strongly believe that AI will not kill jobs. It will transform them and make them more satisfactory. AI will expand the capabilities of what you can offer in your job. Ai will have you focus on a more relational aspect of your job. AI will take away the low value-added part of your tasks, giving you more time to focus on what is important. AI will allow you to go faster and finish more easily within your deadlines.

 

But make no mistake. This article is not claiming that you should do nothing. It is claiming that we have the time to adapt even if the journey is started. However, if you don’t jump on the wagon, you’ll be left on the side of the road. Whatever your business is.

 

 

Jean-Christophe Mathonet

Partner, Khagan

Jean-Christophe Mathonet

Jean-Christophe Mathonet

Co-Founder & Partner

My experience as CFO and CRO, Board Member in financial services, banking and insurance, allows me to cover a wide range of topics: general management of entities, Risk and finance management, corporate taxes, supervision of IT and operations, accounting, budgeting, creation and restructuring of legal structures, regulatory reporting, acquisition of companies, operational statistics, and management accounting

My strengths are in Finance and Risk Management