Accenture’s Tech Vision 2024 is driven by AI that unleashes human potential

Accenture unveiled its technology vision for 2024 at CES 2024 today, and it’s no surprise that AI plays a big role in it.

The vision predicts a transformative future where the relationship between humanity and technology is at a tipping point. Thematic Human by Design: How AI Unleashes the Next Level of Human Potential, the vision presents an optimistic departure from dystopian depictions of the adverse effects of technology on humanity. Accenture released the report at CES 2024, the big tech show in Las Vegas this week.

Have you ever seen dystopian pictures of people from 1000 years ago? Hunched backs, sallow skin, large and sensitive eyes — the hallmarks of people who spend too much time indoors, disconnected from the physical world, the report said. These images reflect how artists see our relationship with technology today. They are intuitive and overwhelming and based on real fears.

This vision challenges prevailing concerns about technology’s control over human life and aims to redefine that relationship by making technology more human in nature.

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“But the future doesn’t have to be what these artists imagine. Not if we reframe the relationship between people and technology and design technology to augment, rather than change, the things that make us human,” the Accenture report said.

The essence of this vision lies in the claim that the coming technological advances will enhance human potential, productivity and creativity, rather than displacing or controlling them. An array of innovative technologies, including autonomous agents, intelligent interfaces, spatial technologies, and brain-computer interfaces, is poised to spearhead this paradigm shift.

Accenture emphasizes that despite humanity’s history of creating tools to overcome limitations, these tools often lack a human touch. They functioned effectively but failed to resonate with human characteristics. This disruption has led to adverse effects such as health problems resulting from prolonged use of tools and technology.

The trade-offs with machiens are clear. Automobiles have expanded our freedom of mobility. Cranes allow us to build skyscrapers and bridges. Machines helped us create, distribute and listen to music. However, the inhuman nature of technology can also be its drawback. Prolonged use of hand tools can lead to arthritis. Years of looking at screens can accelerate vision problems. We have amazing navigation tools, but they still distract us from driving, the report says.

The discrepancy can even go beyond our physical bodies and permeate the environment we live in: homes or offices are often designed to get the best bandwidth, internal combustion engines may be necessary for some but generate pollution for others.

Turning point

AI is coming more and more with big companies.

However, the turning point is upon us. Accenture’s report demonstrates evidence that technology is reversing course to become more human. The change manifests itself in user-friendly interfaces, intuitive design, and human intelligence embedded in various aspects of technology.

A cornerstone of this evolution is the rise of generative AI, which Accenture highlights as a core strength. The report highlights examples such as Adobe’s AI-driven Photoshop features, allowing users to manipulate images with simple text prompts. In addition, generative AI goes beyond routine tasks, augments human creativity, and democratizes working with specialized knowledge.

The vision emphasizes transformative applications across sectors. Google Cloud’s generative AI search tool revolutionized the accessibility of health data for professionals, while MIT’s computational tool, FrameDiff, pioneered synthetic protein structures for drug development.

The report also spotlights the integration of AI into robotics, such as Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot, which is now equipped to not only mimic human movements, but also engage in social interactions using natural language commands.

“The fusion of technology with human traits is inevitable, enabling unparalleled productivity and value creation across industries,” the report said.

Accenture’s vision highlights the ethical conundrums accompanying this transformation. As technology mirrors human capabilities, ethical dilemmas regarding AI’s impact on creativity, job displacement, and social cocooning rise to the surface. Businesses struggle with the responsibility of positive engineering, balancing technological advances with ethical considerations.

The vision challenges businesses to take advantage of the human-centric evolution of technology, highlighting the critical role they play in shaping a future where technology and humanity coexist harmoniously.

In essence, Accenture’s Technology Vision 2024 heralds an era in which technology and humanity merge to unlock unprecedented potential. It calls on businesses to pioneer ethical, human-centered technological advances that bridge the gap between innovation and social responsibility.

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