Manufacturing is widely known for its ever-changing processes (and, consequently, its workforce reduction), but blue-collar jobs are not the only ones being affected by this influx of technology. Industries that were once dependent on “human touch” are now being confronted with technology that can do the same work in a shorter time.
The goal of automation is two-fold: creating innovation and improving efficiency. Computerization and robotics are making their way into all types of industries, some of which you probably did not know about. Even the most corporate industries, such as law and marketing, are being impacted, as well as how food is grown, who writes this morning’s news and the educational learning process.
Let’s explore 5 surprising industries in which new workflows have emerged to create new systems and opportunities for growth:
Agriculture is no longer as simple as a farmer harvesting their crops. Data is gathered from sources like weather stations and infrared cameras, which allow for key insights on production. Farmers now know exactly how much to feed livestock and can even control their tractors and harvesters remotely.
Autonomous systems now have a hand in operations like pruning, thinning and harvesting. For fruit tree picking, workers riding robotic platforms are twice as efficient as workers using ladders. Drones can fly overhead and access crop health and soil conditions. Machinery and robotics have already increased efficiency and reduced production/product costs.
People have most likely already read articles or other material that have been produced by a machine. The Associated Press has already begun to automatically generate more than 3,000 stories about the U.S. financial news for each quarter.
Narrative science and automated insights can produce basic outlines for data-heavy news like sports statistics and stock analyses. Heliograf, a leading example of an automated narrative system, uses narrative templates that include predetermined phrases to account for any outcome. The platform is then connected to a data source, which takes relevant data and matches it with the relevant phrases it was given. From there, it can publish different versions of the same story.
The teacher-to-student experience has already begun to change with the growing digitalization of the world, whether it is plagiarism checking software or iPads in the classroom. Algorithms can now customize learning to each individual student based on their progress and skill level. With technology like this, teachers can identify gaps in a student’s learning and cater to his or her needs more effectively.
Creating class schedules, keeping attendance, processing grades and admitting new students are all administrative functions that are capable of process computerization. The automation of these basic tasks allows teachers to spend less time on paperwork and more time with their students.
How ads were bought, sold, tracked and displayed were once up to the discretion of media buyers. Nowadays, automated systems can determine which magazine or TV station to buy ads on. A computer can use billions of data points to analyze demographics and attitudes to pick an outlet that will reach targets. These systems can also sell online ad space to advertisers and agencies on their own.
Persado, a system that “combines natural language processing and machine learning technologies” works as an automated insight engine and now does the work of a human copywriter. The system can generate subject lines for mass emails and create whole messages by itself. Persado then tests the messages and comes up with a guaranteed combination of words that will inspire action.
CRM, the customer relationship management system, analyzes customer interactions and data throughout the client process. Marketers and sales teams can improve business relationships with customers, retain clients and drive business by always being attuned to their needs, even if they are managing 20 different clients.
The most valuable resource lawyers provide is the ability to predict the outcome of cases. Modern statistical systems have been able to accurately predict 70 percent of case outcomes, eliminating the need for large retainers with expensive legal counsel. The automation of this expensive service has the potential to cut legal costs drastically for companies and clients.
It’s also possible that a learning system can be trained to review previous cases and draft legal briefs. Paralegals and junior associates at law firms have traditionally sifted through paperwork – now, computer systems and databases can use analytics and keyword recognition to search tens of thousands of documents in half the time.
The expansion of automation and computer systems into these fields does not mean the robots are taking over everyone’s job.
These small examples of automation reallocate energy from mundane activities and create new opportunities for workers. Innovation will continue to progress and optimize the way jobs in these fields are performed. These systems hold benefits in terms of efficiency, cost-cutting solutions and advancements that will impact how these industries perform in the future.
Converting your business to an automated system is a process within itself. Before you decide if automation is right for you, consider these questions.