12-08-23 | Blog Post

2024: The Future is Now – Artificial Intelligence and Human Augmentation in the Workplace

Blog Posts

By TJ Houske, CEO of OTAVA

With 2024 around the corner, we’ve reached a point in time where business leaders must make a shift in their strategies. 

Success in information technology, and in the broader workplace, requires an immediate and full embrace of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Leaders that are still saying that they will get to it when they are ready, will find that they are already too late. There is simply no more time to think through ethical concerns or noodle over possible concerns. The genie is out of the bottle. 

While leaders are embracing AI and ML, it is also time to consider the concept of human augmentation. While many organizations still engage in debates on whether and how AI may replace jobs, it has already become clear that it will have a significant impact in certain areas. Some aspects of remote work are likely to be replaced with a machined approach. However, true innovation will occur with a symbiotic relationship between machines and humans. Breakthroughs will happen when AI is augmented by human expertise, unlocking the potential for exponential and astronomical outcomes. Consider the simple example of giving any modern day professional – a cloud engineer, a marketing expert, or another role –  the power of intelligent technology. The initial result will be extreme efficiency enhancement, which will make the employee versatile and agile. In many cases, they will be able to complete their tasks in nearly real-time. Those individuals become essentially virtualized, opening up limitless possibilities for their roles, professional development, and their ability to achieve new results. Equipping talent with the right tools creates serious power and holds immense potential. 

Unfortunately with the good, comes the bad. Just as the judicious use of AI and ML can lead to great strides in a positive direction, misuse can create big problems. As a result, cybersecurity remains a top priority and will even escalate in importance. AI and ML simultaneously help companies to protect themselves, while providing bad actors with the tools to create more aggressive, effective, and sophisticated attacks.

In order to survive this rapidly changing landscape, business leaders that have not already done so, need to immediately create and activate a well-defined AI strategy. They must determine how and where to use AI and ML, so that when employees leverage them, they create the greatest benefits. Also, they need to create an order of operations that gets put into practice quickly and efficiently. Making sure AI and ML scale appropriately is important so  that employees have access and can create more opportunities for the business.

The measure of what’s possible with AI and ML has not yet been determined. Today consumers easily tap into this technology on a regular basis to interact with things like Siri and Alexa without even thinking about it. Next on the horizon, we’ll see AI and ML put to use in the business world where there is the flexibility to try applications without too much risk, such as marketing automation or workflow efficiencies. Also, information and cybersecurity teams are already accelerating their use of intelligent technology, to remain one step ahead of the bad actors using it to exploit vulnerabilities in their digital assets.

It’s time for businesses to put AI, ML, and human augmentation into action in the workplace, with the knowledge that the future holds limitless possibilities for innovation, advancement, and growth. By implementing these technologies in a strategic and human way, business, IT, and security leaders can navigate the challenges and capture the opportunities ahead, and ultimately reshape the future. 


About the Author

TJ Houske is OTAVA’s CEO. For over 20 years he’s held senior and executive leadership roles in engineering, architecture, and strategic business development. He’s been an IT executive, consultant, entrepreneur, and the head of one of the industry’s most dedicated technology operations teams. A visionary with a down-to-earth approach, TJ is on a mission to make service providers, enterprises, and public sector organizations successful in the cloud. 

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