Meet Amelia - She's coming for your job!

Around three quarters of Australia’s 12 million jobs are service-based[1]. A significant proportion of these are about to, or are already undergoing massive disruption as a range of technological advances are combining to redefine not only jobs, but even what we mean by service.

 Meet Amelia. Marketed by her developers as “your first digital employee”, Amelia is a “cognitive agent” who, according to McKinsey;

 “…already understands, interacts, and—crucially—learns in order to solve customers’ problems in industries from financial services to telecommunications. They can parse natural language and independently determine which questions to ask in order to diagnose what the customer really needs and act accordingly.”

24 hours a day….without coffee!

Amelia, and her AI brethren represent a more nuanced approach to customer service automation than the rather clunky solutions that we are all familiar with (“item removed from bagging area” rage must be a real thing by now).  They actively anticipate and solve problems, and adapt strategies based upon immediate feedback from customers. They also are a very efficient conduit for continuous data collection, analysis and reporting.

Our future, and the future of our kid’s jobs will depend on our ability to work with, and add value to the likes of Amelia. She is here and she won’t be going away. McKinsey again;

“By 2020, customers will manage 85 percent of their relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a human, and 40 percent of sales activities could be automated using technology that already exists.”

Industries and professions need to consider how they can work with Amelia and leverage her capabilities to their benefit. Those that don’t, or won’t, will not just be left behind – they will be superseded by a workforce that is smarter, more agile and far better at office footy tipping than we can ever hope to be.

[1] ABS Australian Labour Force February 2016