• ben zimmerman

The New A-Team

Whether we like it or not, this is what the future looks like.

Robots, AI, and machines- for most people, these terms evoke fear, uncertainty, and distrust. We’re all familiar with the doom and gloom scenarios all too often depicted in sci-fi films of some dystopian future where robots take over our jobs and rule the world. But the matter of fact is that this apocalyptic portrayal is far from realistic. More likely, our relationship with machines will be one of synergy.


While there is no doubt that AI will drastically transform how we work, it is more likely that its impact will be one of complementation and augmentation rather than replacement. According to a Harvard Business Review study involving 1,500 companies, “firms achieve the most significant performance improvements when humans and machines work together.” Instead of replacing our efforts, machines can enhance them. Welcome, everyone, to the age of human-computer collaboration.


Below, we cover the advantages of such a collaboration, along with existing platforms that are already bringing this joint intelligence to life.


“We’ve estimated that if all companies invest in AI and human-machine collaboration on the same level as early adopters, they stand to boost revenues by an incredible 38% between 2018 and 2022.” - Payal Vasudeva, Managing Director Accenture Strategy UKI, Talent and Organisation

Where Machines Dominate

Speed Many business activities place a high premium on speed. Timing matters, and when it comes to speediness machines outpace humans by far. For operations such as uncovering credit-card fraud, accurate detection is vital. That’s why credit card companies such as American Express are relying heavily on data analytics and machine learning to allow for real-time decision-making and in turn save millions in potential losses. If a decision-maker is too slow or makes the wrong call, customers will be more than dissatisfied. With the help of AI, businesses can get the right information at the right time. In turn, this helps employees make the right calls and better anticipate change as the relevant information they need is delivered when they need it. Accumulated, this sort of intervention can have a big influence on the organization’s bottom line.


Analyzing Abundant Data Machines thrive in data-rich environments. Machine learning, a buzzword nowadays, involves machines that learn from vast amounts of data. Machines are capable of scanning lots and lots of data and historical information in order to detect patterns. They are capable of learning what is important as opposed to what isn’t, and in turn allow businesses to optimize their processes. While it may take the human eye time to go through rich datasets, algorithms can go past our limited capability and decipher patterns such as those pertaining to customers and markets.


Machines’ strengths: transacting, iterating, predicting, calculating, recalling

Machines’ Competitive Advantage: While one doctor can make a diagnosis in about 10 minutes, in the same amount of time an AI system can make a million.

Where Humans Still Outdo Machines

Creativity While it may seem that the machines have us beat, it’s important to recognize the domains in which humans are still going strong. At the moment, when it comes to intangible soft skills humans still surpass machines. One of our strong suits is creativity, something that the algorithms don’t have pat down just yet. While algorithms are great for repetitive tasks in stable environments, they aren’t yet ready to handle the instability, uncertainty, and ingenuity that creativity necessitates. Humans, on the other hand, need only look back at all the incredible advancements witnessed throughout history to prove that creativity runs in our veins.


Emotional Intelligence Emotional intelligence (EQ) refers to the ability to recognize and label emotions and use such labeling to guide behavior and thought. Generally speaking, high EQ means someone is smart when it comes to feelings. Given that we live in a social world, being able to read emotional signals and navigate the often ambiguous inner lives and unclear signs of other people is a vital skill. Lucky for us, EQ is a skill machines have yet to master.


Human strengths: leading, improvising, creating, judging

Man’s Competitive Advantage: Humans have the upper hand when it comes to intangible skills that are not seen, but felt.

The Best of Both Worlds

Humans and AI actively enhance and complement each others’ skills. Combining soft skills such as teamwork and creativity of the former, along with the speed and scalability of the latter, is going to ensure organizations get the best results. Already, there are a range of existing platforms and solutions that allow you to maximize the way your finance department works effective immediately. Focusing on platforms that are incredible time-saving game-changers, here are our top recommendations:

DataRails

Every finance department relies heavily on spreadsheets. To its detriment, Excel is not always the easiest tool to use. When dealing with spreadsheets that are shared between co-workers and sent back and forth, keeping tabs on which version is the relevant one in your inbox (ex. is it version 1, 5, or 4NEW?) can be a time-consuming nightmare. Worse still, you may accidentally find yourself, unfortunately and regrettably, working with the wrong numbers. Thanks to the innovative solution offered by DataRails, finance departments must no longer deal with this headache. DataRails’ platform allows for the automation of Excel-based processes and consolidation of information, thereby significantly cutting down your work time by eliminating the need for this incredibly tedious and time-consuming task.

Rydoo

Thanks to Rydoo’s expense management platform, finance departments can easily keep tabs on how much they are spending on any particular client or project. Rydoo integrates with work tools including Slack, SAP, and Oracle to concentrate all your expense information in one place and help you keep tabs on expense data. With Rydoo, you can streamline your financial processes to meet stringent demands made by superiors and management who demand financial transparency 24/7.

HyperScience

With a mission to automate data entry, HyperScience is bound to change the way you work. Manual data entry of forms and documents is incredibly time consuming. With HyperScience, finance departments can swiftly translate human-content to machine-content. By automating data entry, organizations can reduce back-end processing time by over 75%. With their simple document setup interface, you can easily extract both handwritten and printed data from files and forms. HyperScience's technology, powered by machine learning, has the potential to significantly transform the way employees spend their time by eliminating this valueless, repetitive task.

Quid

“We power human intuition with machine intelligence, enabling organizations to make decisions that matter”- this is the Quid vision. With Quid, you can get a macro-level perspective by visualizing everything you need to know in one place. Quid compiles and analyzes text-based data to help you identify and make sense of things like trend analysis, brand perception, competitive comparison, and the market landscape. More specifically within the financial sector, Quid can help you make smarter decisions by assisting in tracking the regulatory environment and monitoring competitors. Among its customers are top financial firms including Goldman Sachs and UBS, so you know you’re in good company.


Humans and Machines-Like Yin and Yang

Combine human experience with machine memory to make the most of both sets of capabilities

Human+machine is not just the future- it already exists in the present. Merging the best qualities of humans and computers allows for optimization, and this is what emerging business processes of the present and all those of the future are going to look like. Work done by both humans and machines creates an outcome that neither one could create single-handedly, and it is the symbiotic relationship between the two that will allow humans to reap the greatest rewards. Whether we like it or not, the matter of fact is that businesses will only increasingly depend on people and machines collaborating to ensure their survival.

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