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Brown University CIO: “Automation Requires Buy-In”

“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.

Bianca Wright

NSAM Managing Editor Bianca Wright has been published in a variety of magazines and online publications in the UK, the US and South Africa, including Global Telecoms Business, Office.com, SA Computer Magazine, M-Business, Discovery.com, Business Start-ups, Cosmopolitan and ComputorEdge. She holds a MPhil degree in Journalism from the University of Stellenbosch and a DPhil in Media Studies from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

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