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Workplace automation

Workplace robotics promises to radically change finance and management. Jon Bernstein examines whether the revolution will lead to integration or replacement.

Not all robots are created equal. While some repeat, others reason. There are robots that industrialise existing tasks to order, speeding up the process and eliminating error. And there are robots that analyse and interpret, capable of decision-making within the constraints of their artificial intelligence (AI). Across this spectrum, much of the talk is about robots that reason, while the focus of reality is on repetition.

Welcome to workplace automation. Hugely politicised, it is often presented as a danger to every existing blue and white collar job, or even as an existential threat to life as we know it. While potential upheaval shouldn’t be underestimated, less is written about the practical advantages of implementation – advantages that might be realised by today’s FDs and CFOs.

This is an extract from the Finance & Management Magazine, Issue 253, April 2017. 

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