“For automation to work, you need to get buy-in from the people potentially being displaced by automation,” said Professor Ravi Pendse, Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Brown University. Pendse believes that if we move from a focus on job security to one on career security — the evolution of roles through the lifecycle of work — automation can offer great benefits.
“Tellers in a bank are a good example,” he said, explaining that much of that routine work is being replaced with smart phones and kiosks. If the teller is then trained to become a customer experience officer, for example, then they have greater career security rather than focusing on the loss of the teller role.
He believes that human interaction will always be valuable: “No machine can replace that,” he said. Pendse discussed his views on the implementation of automation, techno-pessimism and the need for a balanced approach to automation with Managing Editor, Bianca Wright, in the latest episode of our podcast series, Nearshore Cafe.