Workforce disruptions, supply chain woes, international conflict, energy sector chaos, food shortages—how are businesses responding to the challenges of the current moment?
A new report points to automation.
Put together by Futurum Research and Automation Anywhere, a leading company in the field, the report found that businesses are rapidly increasing their moves to automate business processes, leveraging AI and robotics.
It amounts to a new automation revolution which will likely be as transformative as the original industrial revolution.
But with automation and AI technology, come serious questions about who benefits, and who gets left behind.
Could crypto-based blockchain technologies not only power responsible automation and AI advancement, but provide a basis for a fair and wide dispersal of the economic benefits?
It’s something that should be on the agenda of forward-thinking policy makers and crypto communities looking to build an age of “crypto” utility.
Automation Becoming the Measure of How Business Gets Done
More than 77 percent of organizations said they will boost their automation budgets in the year ahead and expect to have 500 or more bots deployed within 12 months.
A quarter of respondents said their automation spending will increase by at least 25 percent.
The report also revealed that:
- Businesses say they see an average return on automation investment of 6.3X
- 94 percent of respondents said automation is helping address supply chain issues
- 61 percent of respondents strongly agreed that automation has helped address staffing shortages
- A majority of companies—some 70 percent—said that almost a third of their their current work across various business functions could be automated
Who Wins In the Automation Boom?
Crypto based blockchain technology, and AI and robotics represent some of the most transformative innovations currently changing modern life.
But there are crucial questions concerning who stands to benefit.
In the case of crypto technologies, virtually anyone can participate in the innovations, by investing and using cryptocurrencies, fungible tokens, NFTs, and / or getting involved with a DAO community, for example.
Cryptos have been especially noted for their democratizing aspects.
Right now AI fueled automation and robotics is a different story. While tech giants are leading the way, they’re also reaping the most profits. And those profits are flowing disproportionately to a relative few in the upper echelons.
What’s more, workers already hurt by COVID policies and now a NATO exacerbated Russia-Ukraine conflict that has worldwide repercussions, are facing competition and even obsolescence driven by a new automation revolution.
As the Trends Journal noted recently in “AI IS LEARNING YOUR JOB” (24 May 2022), even many business experts agree that the new automation drive will have negative ramifications for many.
A recent Pew Research poll found that experts say AI and robotics will displace huge numbers of human workers in the near future:
“According to Pew Research, about half (48%) of experts surveyed felt that robots and digital agents will displace a significant number of blue- and white-collar jobs. Their concern is that this will increase income inequality and create a mass of virtually unemployable people.”
How Cryptos Might Work To Democratize The New Automation Revolution
The crypto sector already employs AI and automation, and that trend is sure to grow. Smart Contracts are an example of automation. The code automatically executes when a given set of criteria are met. Smart contracts form much of the basis of the “software” functions of networks like Ethereum and Solana.
AI is also being employed and/or developed on various blockchain based crypto projects.
Singularity Net is perhaps the most well known project. The initiative has created the famous (or infamous, depending on one’s point of view) Sophia robot, who has spoken at the UN, and in the world’s first “robot debate.”
As its name indicates, the Singularity Net project is predicated on ushering a future moment when AI becomes more capable than human intelligence in every respect.
It’s a highly dangerous goal that many argue should face a moratorium, and quite possibly a permanent ban. At the very least such decisions should not be in the hands of a relative few, operating without public scrutiny or regulation. Careful oversight is needed to prevent dangerous potentials.
DeepBrain Chain is a platform that uses blockchain to create AI algorithms. It runs on the NEO blockchain.
DeepBrain Chain says its technology can lower hardware related AI computation costs for enterprises that want to employ AI algorithms, by as much as 70 percent.
According to a project whitepaper:
“DeepBrain Chain allows the artificial intelligence neural network operation to be decentralized and distributed over the mass nodes of the whole world through blockchain technology. Thus, the cost can be just 30% of the user’s self-built neural network server; and less than 50% of the traditional artificial intelligence centralization cloud computing platform.”
Other crypto projects employ AI to assist investing, and perform other services or functions.
But crypto technology can also potentially more widely disperse the rewards of efficiencies and capabilities that AI and automation are producing.
Projects like DeepBrain Chain have crypto tokens in which anyone can invest.
But DAOs offer an even greater potential for widely disbursing benefits. DAOs not only can replace many aspects of a traditional business with automated processes. They offer people an ability for communities to participate in the governance and operating structures of the blockchain based organization.
Think of it as a stockholder meeting that is continually in session and evolving based on the inputs of the stockholders.
DAOs could transform the private—and public—sectors in ways that are just beginning to be imagined.
A few examples:
- Governments could require giant tech companies currently hoarding profits from AI and automation, funneled to a few mega billionaires, to institute DAOs that disseminated profits and decision making to all employees, and even members of communities where companies operated provided services. Think of how that might transform Amazon, Google and Facebook.
- Governments could be required to employ DAOs in a crypto powered version of what Sarah Palin achieved while Governor of Alaska, where Alaskan citizens widely received the financial rewards from natural resources the state leased.
- Governments could work with the private sector and supposedly civic-minded elites like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk to use DAOs to implement a BUI (Basic Universal Income) from the productivity of AI and automation.
With DAOs and crypto ecosystems where anyone can invest and participate, decision-making about who gets that pie needn’t and shouldn’t be left to politicians or plutocrats (or AI itself).
The bulk of humankind can be empowered to have a direct stake in and governance of both the technology, and the rewards derived from it.