What Will a CxO Do When Machines Do Everything?

CxO's should start preparing for the fourth revolution and it's almost certain that change will come from artificial intelligence.


Technology inherently drives change, as change is the basis of technology innovation. The enterprise has undergone a variety of transformations via technology and innovation, and again there appears to be a new set of change on the horizon.

To look at this in more detail, at CxO Disrupt Sydney 2017, Samrat Biswas, Consulting Partner and Digital Strategist for Cognizant questioned which technology will be the next completely transform the business model.

“We have been through three industrial revolutions; the new machines which formed the first industrial revolution, and then the assembly line after that.”

And then nature of industries completely changed when the internet invented and became a part of our life.”

So where to next? What will charge the fourth revolution? For Simrat, he believes that artificial intelligence (AI) will almost certainly lead a change which will be looked back on as the fourth revolution.

“Artificial intelligence is quickly becoming the next great story of our generation. It’s not only about voice and analytics but it’s about the platform behind it,” he told 200 of Sydney’s leading IT and digital executives and C-Suites.

The interesting thing about it is that although the potential for AI has only now been realised, some of the foundation technology itself has been around since the 1950’s and can be seen in our everyday lives.

The difference between then and now Samrat noted, is that there’s so much more data available for machine learning to gain intelligence from, that the ability for technology to adopt practices and processes has grown exponentially.

Simrat as well urged for executives to begin to prepare for this new wave of change, as if businesses adopt AI too late, they will already fall behind in a very competitive race.

“We need to make sure we are getting ready for the next big thing in the industry,” he summarised.

Critical to this point was that organizations and business executives shouldn’t fear AI, as when machine learning can be applied, executives will have more of an opportunity to think laterally and strategically.

Samrat summarised by touching upon the “AHEAD” model which appears in the Malcolm Frank, Paul Roehrig, and Ben Prings AI guide, “What to do When Machines Do Everything”. AHEAD stands for Automate, Halos, Enhance, Abundance, and Discovery, five central new business theories that C-Suites should consider as the era of the fourth revolution approaches.

To add to this, Cognizant’s Senior Director – Data Science, Michael Camarri also presented on similar lines, explaining that the importance of data comes from taking action on what the information tells you.

Even if you do have the knowledge of what the customer might be interested in purchasing when they visit your website for example, the information on its own will not drive the change.

“Do you really know what your customer wants and what their next step is? More importantly, do you act on it?” Michael asked.

What the presentation from both Samrat and Michael revealed was that it’s important to lead the change that AI will bring from the front, rather than follow the disruptors later.

AI brings itself many advantages, from deeper personalisation to developing the next big thing like driverless cars. It’s now impossible to ignore the impending fourth revolution.