Robot workers are becoming ?viable alternatives? to humans, says Gartner

Smart machines, such as AI and robots, will be more relied upon by businesses over the next five years, according to industry analyst Gartner.

The firm has released a new report stating these robots are becoming viable alternatives to human workers, and the rise of the machines will lead to ‘significant repercussions for the business and CIOs’.

The growth of sensor-based data, advanced algorithms and AI are "enabling smart machines to make increasingly significant business decisions over which humans have decreasing control", says Gartner.

"As smart machines become increasingly capable, they will become viable alternatives to human workers under certain circumstances, which will lead to significant repercussions for the business and thus for CIOs," commented Stephen Prentice, vice president and Gartner Fellow.

"Business leaders are starting to take notice of the advances being made and more readily acknowledge that the threat to knowledge work is real."

Despite this, Prentice has stressed that we should not be worried about an AI uprising: "The fear among many individuals is that the machines will ‘take over,’ start making decisions on their own and run out of control, posing a threat to individuals, society and even humanity itself.

"However, within the confines of currently known technology, the idea of machines attaining some level of ‘self-awareness,’ ‘consciousness’ or ‘sentience’ is still the stuff of science fiction. Even with the coming generation of smart machines, which actively ‘learn’ and will be able to adapt their actions to optimise their progress toward a goal, humans can choose to remain in control."

Learn more about the ‘office of the future’ throughout June in our weekly themed newsletters and dedicated ‘theme of the month’ section – which you can see to the right of this story on desktop, and at the bottom on mobile.

Image source: Shutterstock

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